James Tenney Died on August 24th
In a way [James Tenney] stands at the center of American music, a kind of focal point: he studied and worked with seminal figures such as Varèse, Partch, Ruggles, Cage, Kenneth Gaburo, and Lejaren Hiller; he performed in the ensembles of his contemporaries Philip Glass and Steve Reich; and he has taught some of the leading young composers, including John Luther Adams, Polansky, and Peter Garland. Though his music and interests put him squarely on the side of the experimentalists, he is the only such composer so admired by the academic establishment that an entire issue of the academic journal Perspectives of New Music was devoted to his music. No other composer is so revered by fellow composers, and so unknown to the public at large...
From Kyle Gann's American Music in the Twentieth Century.
Go here to listen to some of his work: http://www.kalvos.org/tenneyj.html
And here: http://disquiet.com/downstream-past5.html#d20060731-jt