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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American Classics - Anderson: Orchestral Favourites / Hayman
Release Date: 03/05/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559125   Number of Discs: 1
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Anderson: Orchestral Music Vol 1 / Slatkin, BBC
Release Date: 01/29/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559313   Number of Discs: 1
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Anderson: Orchestral Music Vol 2 / Slatkin, BBC
Release Date: 04/29/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559356   Number of Discs: 1
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Anderson: Orchestral Music Vol 3 / Slatkin, BBC
Release Date: 06/24/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559357   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 176 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Celebration of Christmas: Holy Night / BYU Choirs & Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Byu Records   Catalog: 516 Release Date: 12/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Benjamin Russell Hanby  ... 
    Performer:  Rachel Smith,  David Ross,  Christopher J. Madsen,  Heidi Webb  ... 
    Conductor:  Kory Katseanes,  Rosalind Hall,  Jean Applonie,  Andrew Crane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BYU Choirs,  BYU Philharmonic Orchestra,  BYU Men's Chorus  ... 
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  • 2.
    Carols from Chelsea / Vann, Orford, Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 0161 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Henry John Gauntlett,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  James Orford,  Eloise Irving,  Thomas Stoddart,  Angus McPhee  ... 
    Conductor:  William Vann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelsea Royal Hospital Chapel Choir
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  • 3.
    Christmas Clarinets / Estrin, University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 52394 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Wilson,  Elizabeth Druesedow,  Jonathan Haas,  Aaron Janosa  ... 
    Conductor:  Mitchell Estrin,  John Watkins Jr.,  David Waybright
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble
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  • 4.
    Blue Tango: Very Best of Leroy Anderson Light Classics / Sutherland
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1324 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson
    Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Ultimate Christmas Collection / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 535958 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Mykola Leontovych,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Alexander Schreiner,  Frank Asper,  Marilyn Horne  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard P. Condie,  Jerold D. Ottley,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerold Ottley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Brass & Percussion Ensemble,  Columbia Brass Ensemble
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  • 6.
    A Christmas Garland
    Label: Solesmes   Catalog: 05 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Hunter,  Gerald Near,  Dale Jergenson,  William Billings  ... 
    Performer:  Jay Humeston,  James E. Jordan Jr.,  David Chalmers,  Matthew Witter  ... 
    Conductor:  Elizabeth C. Patterson,  Richard J. Pugsley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Gloriæ Dei Artes Instrumental Ensemble,  Gloriae Dei Ringers  ... 
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  • 7.
    O Little Bethlehem
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 51710-MCD Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude T. Smith,  Traditional,  Ralph Blane,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Stoffel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northridge Wind Ensem California State University
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  • 8.
    Christmas 101
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002507302 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  John Francis Wade,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Performer:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Simon Preston,  Harvey Alan,  David Corkhill  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  John Rutter,  Sir Neville Marriner,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    A Christmas Celebration / Bell, Halle Choirs
    Label: Hallé   Catalog: 7545 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nigel Hess,  Adolphe Adam,  John Gardner,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Elder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra Chorus
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  • 10.
    Christmas Songbook / The King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 459 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Walter "Jack" Rollins,  Johnny Marks,  Hugh Martin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
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  • 11.
    Label: Amadeus Arte   Catalog: 13002 Release Date: 12/01/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Roberto Pansera,  Ora Bat Chaim,  Morton Gould  ... 
    Performer:  Gianluca Campagnolo,  Francesco Scrofani Cancellieri,  Salvatore Ciccotta,  Giovanni Caggia  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 12.
    Label: Brigham Young University   Catalog: 415 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Francis Wade,  Dan Forrest,  Stephen Chatman  ... 
    Performer:  Kiersten Favero,  Jane Raty,  Abraham Wilson,  Taylor Simmons  ... 
    Conductor:  Ronald Staheli,  Rosalind Hall,  Kory Katseanes,  Jean Applonie
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  • 13.
    The Greatest Christmas Choral Classics
    Label: Silva Classics   Catalog: 6049 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Mykola Leontovych,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Performer:  Crouch End Festival Chorus,  The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Evan Jolly
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    Cello Effect
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 15364 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Giacomo Puccini,  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  W.C. Handy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rastrelli Cello Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 15.
    Label: Real Gone Music   Catalog: 6400396 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Bernard,  John Francis Wade,  Thomas ("Tommie") P. Conn,  Harry Parr-Davies  ... 
    Performer:  George Melachrino Orchestra
    Conductor:  George Melachrino
    CD: $13.99
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  • 16.
    Label: Norske Garde Musikers Forbund   Catalog: 109 Release Date: 09/08/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Oscar Borg,  Kjell Hagen,  Hans Peter Nielsen,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Per Hannevold,  Joar Skorpen,  Kai Henrik Ryen,  Brynjar S. Rasmussen
    Conductor:  Rolf Andersen,  Kjell Hagen,  Kjell Olav Martinsen,  Rolf Noddelund  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
    CD: $39.99
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  • 17.
    Make The Season Bright
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 77046 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  James Pierpont,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Amy Statz Dolan,  Russell Colleran,  Carol Willey,  Robert Harrelson  ... 
    Conductor:  Lowell E. Graham
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Jul Med Linnekvintetten
    Label: Swedish Society Discofil   Catalog: 1157 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Ivar Widéen,  Hans Adolf Brorson,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Orchestral Lollipops
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: 1506 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Sigman Gray,  Kenneth Casey,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts Brass Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Our Band Heritage, Vol. 28: Leroy Anderson
    Label: Allentown Band   Catalog: 119 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson
    Performer:  Gerd Seifert,  Donald Albright "D Day",  David Golden,  Beverly Roberts  ... 
    Conductor:  Ronald H. Demkee
    CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5218 Release Date: 01/01/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bronislaw Kaper,  Domenico Modugno,  Roger Roger,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Inglez,  Harry Robbins,  Johnny [John Waldo Green] Green
    Conductor:  Cyril Ornadel,  Percy Faith,  Roger Roger,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 22.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $35.98
    CD: $33.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Les Plus Belles Pages De La Musique De Noel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578291-92 Release Date: 11/04/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  James Pierpont,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 25.
    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
    On sale! $18.99
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