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Anderson, Leroy

Anderson, Leroy

Anderson, Leroy, American composer, arranger, and conductor; b. Cambridge, Mass., June 29, 1908; d. Woodbury, Conn., May 18, 1975. He entered the New England Cons, of Music in Boston when he was 11, and later was a student of Spalding (harmony), Ballantine (counterpoint), Heilman (canon and fugue), and Hill and Piston (orchestration) at Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1929; M.A., 1930), where he then studied German and Scandinavian languages (1930–34) and was director of the univ. band (1931–35). From 1946 to 1950 he was an orchestrator and arranger for the Boston Pops Orch. Between 1954 and 1974 he appeared as a guest conductor of his own works with various North American orchs. In 1988 he was elected a posthumous member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Anderson became notably successful as a composer and arranger of light music for orch. His output reveals an inventive melodic and rhythmic bent, which proved immediately appealing.


DRAMATIC: Goldilocks, musical (N.Y., Oct. 11, 1958); Lady in Waiting, ballet music (1958). orch. (many arranged by the composer or others for strings, band, and piano or for other solo instruments): Harvard Fantasy (Boston, June 16, 1936, composer conducting; rev. as A Harvard Festival, N.Y., April 1, 1969); Jazz Pizzicato for Strings (Boston, May 23, 1938, composer conducting; also for Orch., 1949); Jazz Legato for Strings (1938; also for Orch., 1949); Harvard Sketches (Boston, May 15, 1939, composer conducting; rev. as Alma Mater, Boston, June 14, 1954); Ticonderoga, march for Band (1939); Promenade (Boston, May 28, 1945, composer conducting); The Syncopated Clock (1945); Chicken Reel (Boston, May 12, 1946); Fiddle-Faddlefor Strings (Boston, March 30, 1947; also for Orch., 1948); Serenata (Boston, May 10, 1947); Eire Suite, renamed Irish Suite (Boston, June 6, 1947; rev. 1949); Sleigh Ride (Boston, May 4, 1948); Saraband (Boston, May 27, 1948); Governor Bradford March (Boston, June 3, 1948); A Trumpeter’s Lullaby (1949; Boston, May 9, 1950); The Waltzing Cat (1950); A Christmas Festival (Boston, June 12, 1950); The Typewriter (1950); Blue Tango (1951); China Doll (1951); Belle of the Ball (1951); The Phantom Regiment (1951); The Penny-Whistle Song (1951); Horse and Buggy (1951); Plink, Plank, Plunk! for Strings (1951); Piano Concerto (Chicago, July 18, 1953); Song of the Bells (1953); Summer Skies (1953); The Girl in Satin (1953); Bugler’s Holiday (1954); Forgotten Dreams (1954); Turn Ye to Me (1954); The First Day of Spring (1954); The Bluebells of Scotland (1954); Sandpaper Ballet (1954); Suite of Carols for Brass Choir (1955); Suite of Carols for Strings (1955); Suite of Carols for Woodwind Ensemble (1955); Arietta (1962); Balladette (1962); The Golden Years (1962); Clarinet Candy (1962); The Captains and the Kings (1962); Home Stretch (1962).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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