Ezra Laderman (1924-2015)

Ezra Laderman (1924-2015)
© Yale University
G. Schirmer mourns the loss of composer, pianist, educator, and administrator Ezra Laderman, who passed away February 28 2015 at age 90. Anthony Tommasini's review of the Quartet for Piano and Strings in The New York Times captured the essence of his style: "Mr. Laderman's gruff, kinetic music mixes pungently atonal elements into a harmonic language that is tonally rooted and clearly directed."

Laderman's large catalogue ranges from solo instrumental and vocal works to choral and orchestral music, as well as opera and film. He wrote music for the Academy Award-winning films "The Eleanor Roosevelt Story" and "Black Fox"; his operas include The Hunting of the Snark (after the Carroll poem) and Marilyn, on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

Ezra Laderman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 29 1924. The son of Polish immigrants, he began improvising at the piano at four and began to compose. "I hardly knew it then, but I had at a very early age made a giant step to becoming a composer," he wrote. He attended New York City's High School of Music and Art, where at fifteen he composed and performed a piano concerto.

He taught at Sarah Lawrence College and SUNY Binghamton before Yale University. After joining the Yale School of Music as a composer-in-residence in 1988, Laderman served as Professor of Composition from 1988 to his retirement in 2014. During his tenure he was Dean of the School of Music from 1989 to 1995.

Laderman served as president of the American Music Center, director of the music program of the National Endowment for the Arts, board chair of the American Composers Orchestra, and president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He recevied three Guggenheim fellowships, the Rome Prize, and had residencies at Bennington, the American Academy in Rome, and the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio.

He divided his time between New Haven, Connecticut and Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where his wife of 63 years, Dr. Aimlee Laderman, worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

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