Thursday, December 18, 2008

The one who got away: Leroy Anderson

What with the fuss about Messiaen and Carter's centenaries, one wonderful man has been slightly overlooked in this sceptered isle, probably because he was just too successful. This is Leroy Anderson, American composer of light music, best known for his Sleigh-Ride (the one we can't get away from at Christmas, anywhere, ever). Born in 1908 to Swedish parents in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied at Harvard with, among others, Walter Piston and George Enescu and spoke six languages besides English and Swedish. Read his full biography here, part of an excellent website devoted to him and his work, with a superb selection of sound clips.

Meanwhile, you have to hear this...