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December 16   -   Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

He even sent thank-you notes for birthday cards

Tributes are flooding in for Karel Husa, a great composer and wonderfully courteous man who, we learn, never allowed any communication to go unanswered. A Czech exile in the United States from 1954, his music banned in his homeland for the next 35 years, Husa left a huge footprint on American music through the hundreds of composers that he taught, encouraging them to go beyond conventional sound. His student, Byron Adams, wrote this in Husa’s New Grove entry: Given his propensity to experiment, it is not surprising that Husa has composed for an impressive array of instrumental combinations. With the exception of opera, he has explored virtually every major musical genre from song to symphony. In his search for colourful and novel sonorities, Husa creates vividly expressive musical canvases, filled with arresting timbres and startling juxtapositions of texture; he can be described as the abstract expressionist par excellence of late twentieth music. His death two days ago, recorded on Slipped Disc , has yet to be acknowledged by any US media, online or cold print, or by any music institution except his publisher.

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