American composer Charles Wuorinen has died on March 11 at the age of 81, his publisher announced. Born in 1938 in New York he studied notably at the Columbia University.

He started composing at age five and wrote more than 270 compositions, including works for orchestra, operas, chamber music, as well as solo instrumental and vocal works.

Wuorinen’s work has been described as serialist, but he later would to criticise that term as meaningless.

He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for Time’s Encomium, his only purely electronic piece. Wuorinen was also an academic teacher at several institutions including Columbia University and Manhattan School of Music. He was also a polymath with interests in fractal geometry, astrophysics, Egyptology and Chinese calligraphy.

His works were promoted notably by James Levine and Michael Tilson Thomas.

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