William Kraft

About William Kraft

As a composer, percussionist, and conductor, William Kraft was a powerful shaper of contemporary music in Los Angeles. Kraft played percussion for the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 25 years, served as the orchestra's assistant conductor, and founded the Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble and the orchestra's New Music Group. Kraft performed in premieres of major works by Stravinsky, Edgard Varèse, and Alberto Ginastera, and he was the percussion soloist in the American premieres of Stockhausen's Zyklus and Boulez's Le Marteau sans Maître. Kraft's own compositions were also widely heard. He wrote music in various languages in styles, pursuing serialism early in his career but later incorporating jazz and Impressionist influences. Kraft died in Los Angeles on February 12, 2022, at age 98. By that time, more than 70 of his compositions had been recorded, including a 17-work series titled Encounters.

  • HOMETOWN
    Chicago, IL
  • BORN
    September 6, 1923

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