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Charles Ives

Born in Danbury, Connecticut on 20 October 1874, Charles Ives was recognized as the most original and significant American composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was influenced first by his father, George Ives, a bandmaster who had unconventional ideas about what music might be. He studied with Horatio Parker at Yale from 1894 to 1898 and showed some sign of becoming a relatively conventional composer in his First Symphony (1898). Later, however, he would pursue a fascination with bi-tonal forms and polyrhythms, nurtured by his father. He worked, not in music but in the insurance business, and composition became a weekend activity.