I can distinctively remember hearing the music of Elliott Carter for the first time. The explosive gestures, endless thread-like contours, and utter brilliance of the instrumental combinations drew me to fall in love with his music immediately. I was a teenager at that time, and one of my fondest memories was a trip to New York City to play a few of the solo violin works from the 4 Lauds for him in his apartment. I remember the extraordinary anticipation I felt on the Amtrak train from Boston, and I still have my copy of Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux that I had been studying during the trip, frantically trying to unlock the pitch scheme that created this whirlwind of beauty locked inside of a five-minute time capsule. My visit to see Mr. Carter was much more than I originally imagined. I was surprised to see so many musical scores open on his piano in his study. This was a very large collection of musical works that intrigued him for a variety of reasons, musical and otherwise. I had hoped from that second forward that I would be as thoroughly curious about music when I had reached my eighth decade of composing and music-making. I hold the time that I had with him very sacred; listening to him speak about his music, or the music of another composer, was entirely illuminating. Elliott Carter has been an icon not only because of his compositional genius, but also because of his sincere humanity to the arts, and to those around him. I am very relieved and thankful to say that my love of his music has only intensified over the past two decades; I am positive that this trend will continue throughout my lifetime. His works represent a timelessness of musical thought, invention, integrity, and execution. My longstanding mentor, Fred Sherry, has given me the greatest honor of introducing me to Mr. Carter, and he has equally paved a unique pathway for me into the musical surfaces of this Great Composer.