Carlos, Wendy [Walter]
- Judith Rosen
(b Pawtucket, RI, Nov 14, 1939). American composer. An early experimenter in electronic music, Carlos – a transsexual, known until 1979 as Walter Carlos – worked with Ron Nelson at Brown University (AB 1962), then studied composition with Luening, Ussachevsky and Beeson at Columbia University (MA 1965). From 1964 she served as an adviser to Robert Moog in modifying and perfecting the Moog synthesizer. In collaboration with the producer Rachel Elkind-Tourre, she developed a method for creating electronic versions of orchestral sounds. The synthesizer gained recognition as a musical instrument and became the standard for electronic realizations owing to the enormous popularity of Carlos’s recording Switched-on Bach (1968), which was made on a Moog synthesizer; more than a million copies of the album were sold. Her virtuosity as a performer on the synthesizer and creativity as an arranger are convincingly displayed in her later albums, which include original compositions such as ...