Edgard Varèse

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Varèse, Edgard


Born Dec. 22, 1885, in Paris; died Nov. 7, 1965, in New York. American composer, conductor, and public figure in music. French by nationality.

Varèse studied composition under A. Roussel, V. d’Indy, and C. Widor in Paris. In 1908 he appeared in Berlin with the Symphonic Chorus, which had been organized by him. Beginning in 1915, Várese lived in the USA, where he founded a number of musical groups and organizations; he also took part in creating the Pan-American Association of Composers (1926). Várese was a representative of modern musical avantgardism. He experimented with the renovation of timbre in the musical idiom with the aid of modern technology and industrial noises; he utilized electronic music (Electronic Poem; Ionization, written for 41 percussion instruments and two sirens); and he tried to extend the acoustical potentials of musical instruments. Although public performances of Varèse’s works in Europe and the USA evoked protests from the audiences, he influenced modern avant-gardists.


Wilkinson, M. “Edgar Varèese—Pioneer and Prophet.” Melos, 1961, no. 3.
Ouellette, F. Edgard Varèese. Paris, 1966. (Contains bibliography.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Included are performances by the Ensemble Modern and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, with commentary by Zappa himself, Edgar Varese, Pierre Boulez, Captain Beefheart, Ian Underwood, George Duke, Haskell Wexler, and Gail & Dweezil Zappa.
Distintas latitudes, espacios y circunstancias (de Boston a Nueva York, de Nueva Orleans a Arkansas son pretexto y texto para seguir la mirada de Miller que mas que exponernos una cronica en sentido convencional, leemos un ensayo, diriase sociologico, escrito por un literato supremo: religion, politica, literatura, historia, cinematografia, gastronomia se alternan con personajes anonimos; algunas celebridades como el vanguardista electrizante, un desconocido para los estadounidenses: Edgar Varese (1883-1965).
The work, only partially reinstalled in Basel, uses documents and images to examine three examples of late-modernist utopianism: Le Corbusier's visionary Philips Pavilion for the World Exhibition in 1958, the Poeme Electronique that Edgar Varese composed for this pavilion, and Nicolas Schoffer's project Die kybernetische Stadt (Cybernetic City), 1979, with its urban concept of aesthetic and sexual hygiene.