Charles Ives
  • Charles Ives
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Charles Ives was a New England insurance actuary and executive. He worked for a few companies before founding Ives & Co., which later became Ives and Myrick.

Ives structured life insurance policies in such a creative manner that it laid the groundwork for what has become estate planning.

He was known in the industry and something of an insurance celebrity based on his publications. Before his days as an insurance wizard, he was on the varsity football squad at Yale, and prior to that was captain of his baseball team in what we would now call high school.

His coaches also thought he could have been a champion sprinter if he had not spent so much time meddling with music.

Ives was one of the first American composers to gain international attention even though his music was largely unperformed during his lifetime.

Virgil Thomson's music was performed during his lifetime. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his composition for the film Louisiana Story but his most famous music might be from the documentary The Plow that Broke the Plains.

Thomson hung out with the Paris crowd in the 1920s and rubbed shoulders with James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, e. e. cummings, Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Orson Welles, and Gertrude Stein.

The music of these two composers is somewhat esoteric but I believe Ives to be the superior master. He will move on to the second round of the American bracket.

The World Cup of Composers

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