Charles Ives: A Life with Music

An illuminating portrait of Charles Ives, whose works profoundly influenced the course of American classical music.

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This colorful biography by composer Jan Swafford unfolds in Ives’s Connecticut hometown of Danbury, then follows Ives to Yale, and finally to his years in New York and his double career as composer and insurance executive. The Charles Ives that emerges from Swafford’s story is a precocious, well-trained musician, a brilliant if mercurial thinker about art and life, and an experimenter in the spirit of Edison and the Wright brothers.

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