Leroy Anderson Biography

29 June 1908, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, d. 18 May 1975, Woodbury, Connecticut, USA. A popular composer from the 30s through to the 50s, Anderson studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and at Harvard University, where he was organist and choirmaster from 1929-35. During most of this same period he was also orchestral director at the university. In 1935 he left the comparative security of academia to earn his living as a freelance musician. He composed and arranged music for the Boston Pops Orchestra, then under the direction of Arthur Fiedler, and began to build a reputation as a composer of light orchestral works. One of his first successes, composed in 1939, was ‘Jazz Pizzicato’. Anderson was in the US Army for four years from 1942, then returned to his career with a string of popular compositions, most of which he recorded with specially assembled orchestras. His best-known works include ‘Fiddle-Faddle’, ‘Syncopated Clock’, ‘Sleigh Ride’, ‘Blue Tango’, ‘Belle Of The Ball’, ‘The Typewriter’, ‘Plink, Plank, Plunk’, ‘Serenata’, ‘Bugler’s Holiday’, ‘Sandpaper Ballet’, ‘The Waltzing Cat’, ‘Song Of The Bells’, ‘Promenade’, ‘Phantom Regiment’, and the tune that became his theme, ‘Forgotten Dreams’. Anderson also composed the music for the 1958 Broadway musical Goldilocks, which starred Don Ameche and Elaine Stritch. Many of his loveliest melodies are available on Frederick Fennell Conducts The Music Of Leroy Anderson, which was released by Mercury Records in 1992.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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