George Crumb’s death at the age of 92 is an immeasurable loss for the arts. A composer with an extraordinary talent for finding new sonorities, colours, and sounds in his haunting works, his titanic impact on music in the twentieth century is still felt even now.

Born in Charleston, West Virginia in the US on 24 October, 1929, Crumb died on 6 February, 2022.

A photo of American composer George Crumb. An older man, mostly bald, with a small amount of grey hair at the back of his head, and a grey moustache. He is resting his chin on his right hand. He is wearing a black shirt.

Despite winning the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for music for his orchestral work Echoes of Time and the River, Crumb is perhaps best known for his 1970 piece Black Angels, for electric string quartet. A terrifying descent into darkness, quoting Schubert and the Dies Irae, the work is subtitled “Thirteen Images from the Dark Land” and references the then-current Vietnam War. Summarising the work in...