- Leonard Lehrman
Leonard Lehrman was born in Kansas, on August 20, 1949, but grew up in Roslyn, NY, becoming the youngest (and longest) private composition student of
Elie Siegmeister(1909-1991). Lehrman's works number 187 to date, including 10 operas, and have been heard throughout Europe, North America, Israel, Australia, and at the United Nations. His setting of Abel Meeropol (Lewis Allan)'s poem "Conscience" for chorus and orchestra won the 2002 Sunrise/Sunset Competition of the Brookhaven Arts Council and was premiered at the Brookhaven Choral Festival with an orchestra of 55 and a chorus of 160 on July 13, 2002. Editor 1999-2002 of "Opera Today" (the publication of The Center for Contemporary Opera), he has worked professionally for over four decades as conductor, coach, accompanist, translator, stage director, producer and critic for "Opera Monthly" (of which he was Associate Editor 1991-94), WBAI, the Metropolitan Opera (Assistant Chorus Master 1977-78), Bel Canto Opera, After Dinner Opera, Aviva Players, the Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus and the Jewish Music Theater of Berlin (both of which he founded), the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus, the Workmen's Circle Chorus, the Oceanside Chorale, the Bronx Opera Company (which commissioned his translation of Chabrier's "Une Education Manquée" for their January 2006 production), and various regional, community and professional companies throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Since 1987, he has given over 400 concert performances together with soprano Helene Williams (they were married by Cantor Charles Osborne at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue July 14, 2002) [cite web
title = WEDDINGS; Helene Williams-Spierman, Leonard Lehrman
accessdate = 2007-11-27
publisher = The New York Times
url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07EFDD1130F937A25754C0A9649C8B63] , including numerous productions of his own stage works, and concert tours of Europe (7 times), Canada, Hawaii, Australia, and Israel: On July 1, 2006 they performed at the Felicja Blumental Music Center in Tel Aviv, singing, among other things, Leonard's translation of the "Shir L'Shalom," which Yitzhak Rabin sang the night he died, Nov. 4, 1995. Their audience included Leonard's cousin, former Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo "Cheech" Lahat, who had stood on the platform with Rabin that night.
Elie Siegmeister called Leonard "my continuator," while
Leonard Bernsteindubbed him "Marc Blitzstein's dybbuk." Blake Eskin interviewed him on that subject, for nextbook.org [cite web
title= A Man Possessed: A visit with the composer who took over where Marc Blitzstein left off
accessdate= 2007-11-27] .
As the leading living expert on the works of
Marc Blitzstein(1905-1964), 20 of which he has adapted/reconstructed/completed, including "Tales of Malamud" (Winner, 1978 Off-Broadway Award for "mostimportant event of the season"), Lehrman was chosen by the Blitzstein Estate to edit The Marc Blitzstein Songbook, published by Boosey & Hawkes in 3 volumes (1999, 2001, 2003), and by Greenwood Press to complete the Blitzstein bio-bibliography in their series (published by Praeger Sept. 30, 2005). In February 2001, under contract with the Blitzstein Estate, he completed the vocal score of Blitzstein's magnum opus, the opera Sacco and Vanzetti, having led a symposium on the subject at the National Opera Association convention in Boston in Dec., 1995. He completed the orchestral score in October 2003. It is available from Theodore Presser.
On Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. he can be found answering reference questions at the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Public Library. His articles have appeared frequently in the "Forward", "Jewish Week", "Jewish Currents", and "Aufbau". He is currently Copy Editor and Critic-at-Large of "The New Music Connoisseur" and serves on the Advisory Board of Composers Concordance, having served in the past as an adjudicator for the National Music Theatre Network, the Center for Contemporary Opera, and the National Opera Association.
He has a B.A. cum laude in Music from Harvard (where he produced and directed Bertholt Brecht's "The Days of the Commune" for the centenary of the Paris Commune in 1971), a masters and a doctorate in music composition from Cornell, and a second masters in Library & Information Science from Long Island University, where he founded the Long Island Composers Archive. He also studied privately with Lenore Anhalt; Olga Heifetz; Nadia Boulanger (on a Fulbright grant); Erik Werba (in Salzburg and Ghent); Kyriena Siloti (at the Longy School); David Del Tredici, Earl Kim, Leon Kirchner and Lukas Foss (at Harvard); Karel Husa, Robert Palmer and Thomas Sokol (at Cornell); Tibor Kozma, Wolfgang Vacano, Donald Erb and John Eaton (at Indiana); and was the youngest student in the first Performance Seminar in Chamber Music with the Guarneri Quartet in 1965. He also served as the youngest U.S. delegate to the International Music Congress in Moscow in 1971, and one of the oldest delegates to the International Youth Festival there in 1985.
Having been Music Director of Community Presbyterian Church in Malverne, NY 1992-2003, on May 1, 2003 he became Minister of Music at Christ Church Babylon, NY. On April 30, 2006 his title was changed to Director of Music/Composer-in-Residence. On September 7, 2006, he became Director of Music/Composer-in-Residence at St. George's Episcopal Church, Hempstead NY. Jan. 1, 2008 he became Director of Music/Composer-in-Residence atUnited Methodist Church of Huntington/Cold Spring Harbor inHuntington, NY.
Dr. Lehrman is listed in
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th Edition. Fact|date=November 2007
* Founder/Director of The Metropolitan Philharmonic ChorusFact|date=November 2007
* Founder/Director of the Opera-Musical Theater Special Interest Group of The Naturist Society since 1989.Fact|date=November 2007
* Co-Director of the National Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Case (with Richard Corey) [cite web
title = Reopen The Rosenberg Case
url = http://www.rosenbergtrial.org/comitfrm.html]
* Member of ASCAP, GEMA, the American Music Center, the American Guild of Organists, the Guild of Temple Musicians (2007 Convention Concerts Chair), the Society for American Music, the Music Critics Association of North America, the Music Library Association (Founder of the Composers/Performers Roundtable), and the American Civil Liberties Union
* Artistic Administrator of The Professor Edgar H. Lehrman Memorial Foundation, Inc.,
* Co-Founder Elie Siegmeister Society ((with Helene Williams) [cite web
title = Elie Siegmeister Society
url = http://ljlehrman.homestead.com/ElieSiegmeisterSociety.html] and Court Street Music Instruction [cite web
title = Court Street Music Instruction
url = http://www.courtstreetmusic.org/HWLLCSM.html]
* Archivist Emeritus of The Long Island Composers Alliance, Inc. (President from 1991-98)
* David Diamond, Leonard Lehrman, and Helen Maria Williams, "Diamond Jubilee: Songs By David Diamond", Albany Records (2006)
* Eleanor Cory, Herbert Deutsch, Lukas Foss, Morton Gould, and Andre Hosza, performed by Leonard Lehrman, "Long Island Composers Alliance", Capstone (2000)
* Leonard Lehrman, Albert Tepper, Jeanne Singer, Adele Berk, and Elie Siegmeister, "Helene Williams Sings Songs Of Love", Capstone (1998)
* [http://ljlehrman.artists-in-residence.com Leonard J. Lehrman site]
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