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
Browse 1-25 of 185 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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  ... 
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  • 14.
    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  ... 
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  • 15.
    Label: Motif (Design)   Catalog: 1198585 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  André Rieu,  Franz Schubert,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu
    Conductor:  Joseph Francek,  Norbert Neukamp
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    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
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    Home For The Holidays / Russell, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Fanfare Cincinnati   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Adolphe Adam,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Wesley Whatley  ... 
    Performer:  Rodrick Dixon,  Timothy Lees,  Gabriel Pegis,  Julie Spangler
    Conductor:  John Morris Russell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winton Woods Varsity Ensemble
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Musical Advent Calendar: Jubilaums-edition
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93291 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andreas Hammerschmidt,  George Frideric Handel,  Jill Nordin,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Bongard
    Conductor:  Jan Schumacher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mainz Chamber Choir,  Novas Brass,  Lingenfeld Gospel Choir  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 22.
    A Christmas Festival
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1424 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeff Tyzik,  Johnny Marks,  George Frideric Handel,  Steve Nelson  ... 
    Performer:  Wycliffe Gordon,  Mark Frost,  Rex Richardson,  Steven Mead
    Conductor:  Richard Evans,  Sarah Ioannides,  Mark Gould,  Kevin Sedatole
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  • 23.
    Horns for the Holidays / Junkin, Dallas Wind
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 126 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Wasson,  Leroy Anderson,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  David Lovrien  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerry Junkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Wind Symphony
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  • 24.
    Rejoice! Christmas At The Sage Gateshead
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2244 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roderick Elms,  Johann Georg Eberling,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Halsey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia,  Northern Sinfonia Chorus
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  • 25.
    25 Years With The Tammittam Percussion Ensemble
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 720 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Germaine Tailleferre,  Claudio Scannavini,  Ney Rosauro,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Orvieto,  Renato Maioli,  Davide Zaniolo,  Patrizia Boniolo
    Conductor:  Guido Facchin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tammittam Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $27.49
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