Known for such contemporary classical works as The Confidence Man (an opera based on the
After studying at both the Mannes College of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, he served in World War II. Upon returning to the United States, he chaired the music department at the University of Pennsylvania.
His memoirs were published posthumously under the title of Five Lines, Four Spaces.
Though the bulk of his early work followed the atonal compositional methodology of serialism, he began writing tonal and highly emotional music following the 1964 death of his young son, Paul. His marriage to Gene Rosenfeld produced one other child, a daughter named Francesca.
The Grammy and Pulitzer-winning composer William Bolcom was one of his students.