Barkin, Elaine R(adoff)

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Barkin, Elaine R(adoff)

Barkin, Elaine R(adoff), American composer, teacher, and writer on music; b. N.Y., Dec. 15, 1932. She studied with Karol Rathaus at Queens Coll. in N.Y. (B.A., 1954), with Irving Fine at Brandéis Univ. (M.F.A., 1956), Boris Blacher at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1957), and Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero at Brandéis Univ. (Ph.D. in composition and theory, 1971). She taught at Queens Coll. (1964–70), Sarah Lawrence Coll. (1969–70), and the Univ. of Mich. (1970–74). In 1974 she joined the faculty of the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles, where she taught composition and theory until her retirement as prof. emerita in 1997. From 1963 to 1985 she was an ed. of Perspectives of New Music. With Benjamin Boretz and James K. Randall, she became proprietor of the Open Space publication series. With Lydia Hamessley, she ed. the vol. Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, and Music (Zurich, 1999). In her early compositions, Barkin utilized serial techniques but later delved into what she describes as “group interactive autonomous alternative music-making culture.” She has also pursued an active interest in Indonesian culture and the gamelan.


String Quartet (1969); Plus ça change for String Orch. and Percussion (1971); Sound Play for Violin (1974); Inward and Outward Bound for Chamber Ensemble (1975); Plein Chant for Alto Flute (1977); Ebb Tide for 2 Vibraphones (1977); Two Emily Dickinson Choruses (1977); “...The Supple Suitor...”, song cycle for Mezzo-soprano and 5 Players (1978); De amore, chamber mini-opera (1980); Media Speak, theater piece for 9 Speakers, Saxophone, Tape, and Slides (1981); At the Pianofor Piano (1982); “...To Piety More Prone...”, theater piece for 4 Women Speakers and Tape (1982); On the Way to Becoming for Tape (1985); Rhapsodies for Flutes and Clarinet (1986); [Be]coming Together Apart for Violin and Marimba (1987); Encore for Javanese Gamelan (1988); “Out of the Air...” for Basset Horn and Tape (1989); Legong Dreams for Oboe (1990); Exploring the Rigors of in Between for Flute, Horn, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1991); Gamélange for Harp and Mixed Gamelan (1993); “...For My Friends’ Pleasure...” for Harp and Voice (1995); Touching All Bases/Di Mana-Mana for Basso Bongo and Gamelan (1996; in collaboration with I Nyoman Wenten); Poem for Wind Ensemble (1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire