Richard Maxfield (1927 - 1969) was born in Seattle, Washington. His musical aptitude was revealed at a young age, playing
both piano and clarinet, the latter in the Seattle All-Youth Orchestra. He also began composing in high school, largely exploring
neoclassical and twelve-tone serialism. After a year in the Navy, he enrolled at Stanford University (where reportedly campus
station KZSU played his music) but transferred in 1947 to U.C. Berkeley to study with Roger Sessions after having heard his
music on the radio. Graduating in 1951, Maxfield traveled to Europe on a scholarship, where he was introduced to Boulez, Stockhausen,
Nono, and the electronic tape music which would guide his work from then on. Maxfield also studied with Krenek, Babbitt, Copland,
Maderna, and Dallapiccola, but was ultimately influenced the most by the work of John Cage, whom he met through Christian
Wolff in 1958. Maxfield would employ chance as a compositional tool, at times drawing strips of tape from a glass bowl. Unlike
some aleatoric composers, however, Maxfield would further edit works according to what he thought worked best.
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