Alvin Curran (b. 1938) — Madonna and Child (1968) for organ
Alvin Curran (b. 1938) is an American composer. Democratic, irreverent and traditionally experimental, Curran travels in a computerized covered wagon between the Golden Gate and the Tiber River, and makes music for every occasion with any sounding phenomena—a volatile mix of lyricism and chaos, structure and indeterminacy, fog horns, fiddles and fiddle heads. He is dedicated to the restoration of dignity to the profession of making non-commercial music as part of a personal search for future social, political and spiritual forms. Curran’s music-making embraces all the contradictions (composed/improvised, tonal/atonal, maximal/minimal...) in a serene dialectical encounter. His more than 200 works feature taped/sampled natural sounds, piano, synthesizers, computers, violin, percussion, shofar, ship horns, accordion, and chorus. Whether in the intimate form of his well-known solo performances, or pure chamber music, experimental radio works or large-scale site-specific sound environments and installations, all forge a very personal language from all the languages through dedicated research and recombinant invention. Educated at Brown University and Yale University, he studied with Ron Nelson, Mel Powell, and Elliott Carter. He was one of the founders of Musica Elettrronica Viva (1966–71) and has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. From 1991–2006 Curran was professor of music at Mills College.