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About Charles Ives
(1874-1954) 20th Century music – United States
Charles Ives was the son of famed Civil War bandleader George Ives. At the age of 5, he started piano lessons; and he began composing at around age 13. He attended Yale University, after which he took a job with an insurance firm. He continued to pursue music on the side, working as a church organist and choirmaster until 1902, and composing new works until 1927.
Charles Ives’s music was innovative, daring and explorative, ahead of its time. In 1947 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his Symphony No. 3. He is remembered today as one of the great American composers, and as a maverick whose musical experimentation and exploration set the stage for, and continues to influence the course of, American classical music for generations to come.