One of the foremost composers of microtonal music. He invented the pocket opera and developed a variety of synthesizers in the 1960s.
He was graduated from Princeton University in 1957. He lived in Rome from 1957 until 1968, finally returning to Princeton to earn his Ph.D. in 1970.
He composed an opera about the Trojan War, titled "The Cry of Clytaemnestra," written from Agamemnon's wife's perspective.
He grew up in Bryn Mawr, one of the United States' wealthiest communities.
He premiered his opera "The Tempest," based on the William Shakespeare play, on July 27, 1985, at the Santa Fe Opera.