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The four composers below are all well-known, and were all predecessors of mine in being recipients of the Joseph H. Bearns Prize from Columbia. There are probably others, but I've never been able to find a list of all recipients.

Samuel Barber

Samuel Barber is certainly the most well-known and popular of this group, and his music is the most accessible. He was an internationally known composer, and recipient of many prestigous awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes. His most recognizable work is Adagio for Strings, which has been used in numerous movie scores, including Platoon and Elephant Man.

Milton Babbitt is known especially as an intellect and music theorist in the realm of advanced serialism, and has taught at Princeton and Julliard. He was one of several teachers of my own primary teacher, Salvatore Martirano. His music is considered a bit on the dry side even by some persons who know and understand the language of atonal serial music well.

Milton Babbitt
Charles Wuorinen

Charles Wuorinen is a prolific composer from the Columbia-Princeton circle, and is also a capable pianist specializing in the performance of new music. He has won countless awards, including, in 1970, being the youngest person to receive a Pulitzer Prize, also a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He won the Bearns Prize three times.

Mario Davidovsky was born in Argentina, and has lived in the US since 1960. He is a specialist in electronic music, and in works for classical instruments combined with electronics. His works are said to be highly esteemed by professional colleagues and the musical public alike. I'll confess that I have heard only a couple of his pieces, though I did like very much what I heard. However, I had the pleasure during the early seventies of music engraving one of his works, a piece for solo flute. I was so impressed with it I obtained a copy of the score for myself.

Mario Davidovsky