Milestones: Apr. 1, 1985

DIED. Roger Sessions, 88, influential, uncompromising composer of reconditely complex orchestral, chamber and vocal works; in Princeton, N.J. Revered by fellow musicians, Sessions adapted such modernist techniques as Stravinskian neoclassicism and Schoenbergian serialism to his individual style, allowing lyricism and emotional color to come through the bursts and layers of sound. Almost all his works, however, are dense, dissonant and difficult both to perform and to listen to, with the result that some compositions waited years for premieres; among his best-known and least inaccessible works were his score for The Black Maskers (1923) and Symphony No. 1 (1927). A teacher and...

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