American composer, author, impresario, record producer, birder, and amateur naturalist. He studied with Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions at Princeton University in the 1950s, as well as with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luigi Nono in Europe. He has held teaching positions at Queens College and New York University. His compositions include "Nude Paper Sermon" and a series of music theater pieces, notably "Civilization and its Discontents" (with Michael Sahl), which won the 1980 Italia Prize and has been recorded for Nonesuch.
He is the author of Twentieth Century Music: An Introduction (Prentice-Hall, 1967; 4th edition, 2001) which has become a widely-used textbook in university courses on modern music. He also published an essay on the new music-theater movement, "Music-Theater Defined: It's ...Well...Um..."
Salzman is also a former music critic of the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune and was a regular contributor to Stereo Review magazine.