Robertson, Leroy , American composer and teacher; b. Fountain Green, Utah, Dec. 21, 1896; d. Salt Lake City, July 25, 1971. He studied in Provo, then in Boston with Chadwick and Converse at the New England Cons. of Music (diploma, 1923); subsequently went to Europe, where he took courses with Bloch in Switzerland, Leichtentritt in Berlin, and Toch. Returning to America, he studied at the Univ. of Utah (M.A., 1932) and later at the Univ. of Southern Calif, in Los Angeles (Ph.D., 1954). He was a prof. and chairman of the music dept. at Brigham Young Univ. in Provo (1925–48); then was chairman of the music dept. at the Univ. of Utah (1948–63). In 1947 his symphonic work Trilogy received the 1st prize of $25, 000 in a contest sponsored by Henry H. Reichhold of Detroit; it was performed by the Detroit Sym. Orch. on Dec. 11, 1947, but despite the attendant publicity, the work was not successful, and there were few subsequent performances. Other works include The Book of Mormon, oratorio (Salt Lake City, Feb. 18, 1953), Prelude, Scherzo, Ricercare for Orch. (1940), Rhapsody for Piano and Orch. (1944), Punch and Judy Overture (1945), Violin Concerto (1948), Piano Concerto (Salt Lake City, Nov. 30, 1966), Cello Concerto (1966), Piano Quintet (1933), String Quartet (1940; N.Y. Music Critics’ Circle Award, 1944), American Serenade for String Quartet (1944), other chamber music, piano pieces, and songs.
M. Wilson, H. R.: Music Giant From the Rockies (Salt Lake City, 1996).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire