Composers: Going Like 60

As Composer Michael Tippett turned 60 last month, orchestras all over Britain gave him the best gift of all: they performed his works. The tribute has since become something of a surprise party—for critics and audiences. For while Tippett ranks second only to his friend Benjamin Britten as England's most notable living composer, his music has not been widely played hitherto, chiefly because its polyphonic complexities and juggled rhythmic patterns scare off most performers. Now, thanks to the birthday boom, performances of Tippett's music are finally winning the popular recognition that...

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