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Franz Werfel
George Perle dies at 93; theorist and composer championed atonal music
George Perle dies at 93; theorist and composer championed atonal music

George Perle, the American music theorist and scholar who was widely regarded as the composer who put a human face on atonal music, has died. He was 93. Perle died Jan. 23 at his home in New York City after a long illness, according to his wife, Shirley. Always highly regarded by his peers, Perle began to draw wider public attention only after he won a Pulitzer Prize -- as well as a MacArthur Fellowship -- in 1986 for his Wind Quintet No. 4. "His music is a special language," wrote Princeton University composer Paul Lansky, "and while each piece sings uniquely and individually, his language is consistent, convincing and all his own. It reveals no sense of arbitrary...

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