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Ezra Laderman

Born: 1924

Died: 2015

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Aimlee D. Laderman


Ezra Laderman's compositions range from solo instrumental and vocal works to large-scale choral and orchestral music. His eleven string quartets and his concertos for piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, string quartet, and double winds are notable contributions to the repertory. He also wrote music to the Academy Award-winning films "The Eleanor Roosevelt Story" and "Black Fox," and an opera based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Laderman incorporated a lyrical style into a contemporary context, using tonal material in combination with atonal elements and seeking out unusual formal structures for his compositions. His writing evolved over the years in that the music, although rigorously conceived, speaks with immediacy and accessibility.

Laderman was commissioned three times by the Philadelphia Orchestra, twice by the National, Louisville and Chicago Symphonies as well as from the New York Philharmonic, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Syracuse, Denver, Columbus, Albany, and New Haven Symphony Orchestras. In addition he wrote for such distinguished artists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Sherrill Milnes, Aldo Parisot, Samuel Baron, David Shifrin, Ransom Wilson, Judith Raskin, Elmar Oliveira, Erica Morini, Nathaniel Rosen, Stephen Kates, Toby Appel, Leonard Arner, Eugene List, Elana Vered, Peter Frankl, Ronald Roseman, Bernard Garfield, Murray Panitz, Julius Baker, Robert Bloom, Tania Anisimova, and Patrick Jee, the Beaux Arts, Lenox, Composers, Vermeer, Colorado, Alard, Blair, Sequoia, Concord, Juilliard, and Tokyo String Quartets, The Pittsburgh Project, and the Elm City Ensemble.

Recent premieres included Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, premiered by the Berkshire Symphony, and Canto V, premiered by the Glens Falls Symphony.

Ezra Laderman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 29 June 1924. He studied composition with Stefan Wolpe and with Otto Luening. He received his BA in 1950 from Brooklyn College, and his MA in 1952 from Columbia University. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, SUNY Binghamton, and directed the Bennington Composers Conference in 1967-68. In 1988 he was visiting composer at Yale, and from 1989 to 1995 he was Dean of its School of Music; in the fall of 1996 he was named professor of composition at the Yale School of Music. He received three separate Guggenheim fellowships (1955, 1958, 1964) and the Rome Prize (1963). He divided his time between New Haven, Connecticut and Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where his wife, Dr. Aimlee Laderman (a lecturer at Yale) is a limnologist at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

— March 2015
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