George Rochberg, U.S. composer who rebelled against modernism, has died at age 86Philadelphia-based composer George Rochberg, 86, who is credited with leading American composers out of esoteric modernism with some of the more emotionally visceral pieces of the late 20th century, died Sunday [May 29] from complications following May 2 surgery. His widow, Gene, reported that he died peacefully in Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Mr. Rochberg was one of the most successful composers of the 1970s and '80s. His Violin Concerto was championed by Isaac Stern, who performed it 47 times between 1975 and 1977; his Symphony No. 5 was premiered in 1986 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti and his Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch in 1996.
His seven string quartets — especially String Quartet No. 3, which is considered the turning point in his output — are considered cornerstones in the American chamber music repertoire. Among his nearly 100 published works are six symphonies and a full-length opera, The Confidence Man.
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