1923 born American composer William Kraft died this weekend at the age of 98. Kraft was born in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at the Columbia University in various fields, composition, orchestration, percussion, and conducting.

He played as an extra percussionist for the Metropolitan Opera. In 1954, Kraft joined the Dallas Symphony and in  1955 the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He spent 25 years in the orchestra, the first eight as a member of the percussion section, and the remaining 17 as principal timpanist. Kraft was also the assistant conductor of the orchestra for three seasons under Zubin Mehta. From 1981 to 1985, Kraft was the Composer-in-Residence for the orchestra, during which time he was also responsible for the founding and directing of the Philharmonic’s New Music Group.

From 1985 he was a full time composer. He has also composed film soundtracks.

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