Leroy Anderson

Biography

Born: June 29, 1908; Cambridge, MA   Died: May 18, 1975; Woodbury, CT  
Anderson has been called the "most famous unknown composer" because his music has rooted itself in American culture, becoming as iconic as the flag and apple pie.

He was born into a family of first-generation Swedish immigrants. In 1919, he began his music and piano studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. At Harvard, he studied composition with George Enescu and Walter Piston and earned his M.A. in 1930. He then
Read more served as director of the Harvard University Band (1931 - 1935) while pursuing studies in German and the Scandinavian languages. At the same time, he tutored at Radcliffe College and was an organist, instrumentalist, and conductor in Boston. One of his orchestral pieces from this time is the Harvard Fantasy (1936), which was revised in 1969 as A Harvard Festival. His orchestrations and arrangements in Boston and New York (1935 - 1942) were noticed by Arthur Fiedler, then music director of the Boston Pops, who asked Anderson to compose original works for that orchestra. This suggestion led to the miniature tone poem Jazz Pizzicato for string orchestra (1938), followed that same year by Jazz Legato also for strings. In 1942, Anderson married Eleanor Firke and they moved to Woodbury, CT, where they raised four children.

During the war, Anderson served as a translator and interpreter in Iceland and the U.S. Promoted to Chief of the Scandinavian Desk of the Military Intelligence Service, he composed one of his most popular works, The Syncopated Clock (1945), with its delightful percussion writing, while working at the Pentagon.

Arthur Fiedler premiered all of Anderson's works, with their delightful orchestrations and sound effects, through 1950. These included Promenade (1945), Chicken Reel (1946), Serenata (1947), Irish Suite (1947), Fiddle-Faddle for strings (1947), the famous and now seasonally revived Sleigh Ride (1948), A Trumpeter's Lullaby (1949), The Waltzing Cat (1950), and The Typewriter (1950) with its novel imitative effects. Anderson also worked as an orchestrator and arranger (of popular folk tunes, historic marches, and so on) for the Boston Pops during these years, sometimes conducting his own works.

Anderson then signed a contract with Decca Records, which brought out the first performances of pieces such as the 1952 top-of-the-charts hit Blue Tango (1951), for which he received a gold record for more than a million sales; Belle of the Ball (1951); The Penny-Whistle Song (1951); Horse and Buggy (1951); and Plink, Plank, Plunk! for strings (1951). Anderson's most extended composition, the Piano Concerto in C (1953), was withdrawn after its premiere because he wished to make changes to the first movement.

His recorded compositions continued with the orchestral works Sandpaper Ballet (1954), Suite of Carols for strings (1955), the Broadway musical Goldilocks, the ballet Lady in Waiting (1959), Arietta (1962), Balladette (1962), The Captains and the Kings (1962), and Home Stretch (1962). Anderson continued to compose and conduct his music until his death. He was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988. Read less
Anderson: Sleigh Ride & Other Holiday Favorites / Slatkin
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559621   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 185 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    111 Classics for Christmas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002179902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Leopold Mozart,  Johnny Marks,  John Frederic Coots  ... 
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Anna Reynolds,  Christa Ludwig,  Maria Teresa Garatti  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Karl Richter,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 2.
    Celebration Of Christmas - Lost In Wonder / Bringham Young University
    Label: Byu Music Group   Catalog: 614 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Menzies Macfarlane,  Traditional,  William P. Rowlands,  Leslie Bricusse  ... 
    Performer:  Mariah Wilson,  Rachel Mcallister,  Elisabeth Blomquist
    Conductor:  Hall Rosalind,  Ronald Stahell,  Jean Applonie,  Kory Katseanes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bringham Young University Choir,  Bringham Young University Singers,  Bringham Young University Chorus  ... 
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  • 3.
    Deck The Halls / Susanna Andersson, Little Venice Ensemble
    Label: Stone Records   Catalog: 8044 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Leroy Anderson,  Harold Edwin Darke  ... 
    Performer:  Suanna Andersson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Little Venice Ensemble
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  • 4.
    Christmas Carols / Knabenchor Hannover, London Brass
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 7017 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Anonymous,  Thomas Weelkes,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Brass,  Hannover Boys' Choir
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  • 5.
    Christmas in New York / Renee Fleming
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002110402 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Bernard,  Hugh Martin,  Jay Livingston,  Richard Carpenter  ... 
    Performer:  Wynton Marsalis,  Renée Fleming,  Daniel Nimmer,  Gregory Porter  ... 
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  • 6.
    Seasons Greetings / Demkee, Allentown Band
    Label: Allentown Band   Catalog: 22173 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Victor Herbert,  Traditional,  Steve Reisteter  ... 
    Conductor:  Ronald H. Demkee
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Allentown Band
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  • 7.
    The Golden Age of Light Music: The Composer Conducts, Vol. 3
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5214 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Faith,  Rudolf Friml,  Leroy Anderson,  Hal Mooney  ... 
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Rudolf Friml,  Leroy Anderson,  Hal Mooney  ... 
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  • 8.
    Contaminazioni
    Label: Amadeus Arte   Catalog: 13002 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Roberto Pansera,  Ora Bat Chaim,  Morton Gould  ... 
    Performer:  Francesco Scrofani Cancellieri,  Gianluca Campagnolo,  Salvatore Ciccotta,  Graziano Lo Presti  ... 
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  • 9.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: The Lost Transcriptions, Vol. 4
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5208 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  David Rose,  Lew Brown,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Performer:  Vincent Abato,  Stan Freeman,  Richard Hayman
    Conductor:  David Rose,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Carl Chandler,  Harry Bluestone  ... 
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  • 10.
    Celebrating 35 Years: The Best Of Tim Zimmerman And The King's Brass
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 616 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Oliver Holden,  Traditional,  Clinton Utterbach  ... 
    Performer:  Rebecca Kleintop-Owens,  David Gravesen
    Conductor:  Tim Zimmerman,  Lisa Varner Nelson
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  • 11.
    Home For The Holidays / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Mormon Tabernacle   Catalog: 5110056 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn,  John Jacob Niles  ... 
    Performer:  Alfie Boe,  Richard Elliott
    Conductor:  Mack Wilberg,  Ryan Murphy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Orchestra at Temple Square
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  • 12.
    Home For The Holidays / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Mormon Tabernacle   Catalog: 5110057 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn,  John Jacob Niles  ... 
    Performer:  Alfie Boe,  Richard Elliott
    Conductor:  Mack Wilberg,  Ryan Murphy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Orchestra at Temple Square
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 13.
    Cartmel Crackers - Light-hearted Organ Music From Cartmel Priory / Self
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 1089 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Campbell,  Ronald Binge,  Ernest Bucalossi,  Emile Durand  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Self
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  • 14.
    Best Of Pops / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 3580 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Leroy Anderson,  Victor Young,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    On sale! $29.95
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  • 15.
    Manhattan Playboys: American Light Classics
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1206 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Robert Farnon,  Leroy Anderson,  Cy Coleman  ... 
    Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
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  • 16.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 17.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: A Glorious Century Of Light Music
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5200 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerome Kern,  Vernon Duke,  Ron Goodwin,  Jule Styne  ... 
    Conductor:  Cyril Ornadel,  Paul Mauriat,  Ron Goodwin,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani  ... 
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  • 18.
    Le Maestro De La Trompette
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Ernesto Lecuona,  Michael Carr,  Charles Trenet  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André
    Conductor:  J. Faustin,  Jacques Denjean
    CD: $34.99
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  • 19.
    Label: Platinum Legends   Catalog: 60760 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 20.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Nature's Realm
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5194 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Harold Arlen,  Peter Yorke,  Lothar Olias  ... 
    Performer:  The Wayfarers
    Conductor:  Sidney Torch,  Morton Gould,  Frank Chacksfield,  Ray Martin  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1074717 Release Date: 11/20/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  George Frideric Handel,  Traditional,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Markus Leoson,  Ulf Forsberg,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  Ion Marin,  Trevor Pinnock,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Uwe Christian Harrer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Regia Musicalis,  Los Romeros
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  • 22.
    In The World Of The Spirits: Christmas Classics For Wind Band
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573002 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude T. Smith,  Traditional,  Gustav Holst,  Philip Sparke  ... 
    Conductor:  Scott A. Stewart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emory Symphonic Winds
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  • 23.
    Christmas In Brass / Gabriel V Brass Ensemble
    Label: Gloriae Dei Cantores   Catalog: 54 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional,  Pavel Chesnokov,  Anthony DiLorenzo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabriel V Brass Quintet
    CD: $19.99
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  • 24.
    Glory To The New-born King
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 1076 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Joubert,  Richard Storrs Willis,  Traditional,  Carl Rütti  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Chewter,  Philip Rushforth,  Christopher Sennett,  Olivia Hunt  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Rushforth
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 25.
    Golden Age Of Light Music: Strings Afire
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5191 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Herman Clebanoff,  George Gershwin,  Herman Hupfeld,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Williams
    Conductor:  Herman Clebanoff,  Frederick Fennell,  Roger Williams,  Cyril Stapleton  ... 
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