American Mavericks

Morton Subotnick

(b. Los Angeles, April 14, 1933)

A pioneer of electronic music and one of its most important composers, Morton Subotnick studied with Darius Milhaud and Leon Kirchner at Mills College in Oakland, and co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the 1960s. He also served as first music director of the Lincoln Center Repertory Company.

His groundbreaking Silver Apples of the Moon, written in 1967 on commission from Nonesuch, was the first large-scale composition created specifically for long-playing record. In the late sixties he helped found the California Institute of the Arts and headed its composition program.

The concert version of Jacob’s Room was introduced in San Francisco in 1985 by his wife, Joan La Barbara, and the Kronos Quartet, and Subotnick eventually developed this work into a chamber opera first presented in 2010. He also develops programs to introduce young children to the creation of music, and he has created a children’s website, Creating Music.

A Radio Profile of Morton Subotnik

Interviews from the “American Mavericks” series (c) (p) American Mavericks Public Media. Used with permission. All rights reserved.