His parents, Isidor and Leah, both emigrated to the United States from Poland. Though poor, the family had a piano. He wrote, "At four, I was improvising at the piano; at seven, I began to compose music, writing it down. I hardly knew it then, but I had at a very early age made a giant step to becoming a composer." He attended New York City's High School of Music and Art.
we were in Caversham, England poised to enter the war. It was here that I learned that my brother Jack had been shot down and killed in Germany. The Battle of the Bulge, crossing the Rhine at Remagen, liberating Leipzig, meeting the Russians at Torgau on the bank of the Elbe were the points in this constellation that was filled with tension and waiting, victory and grief. We became aware of the horror, and what we now call the 'holocaust,' while freeing Leipzig.
During the weeks after the war was over, Laderman composed his Leipzig Symphony. This work brought him recognition within the army, and subsequently he was assigned as orchestrator of the GI Symphony Orchestra.
Laderman was discharged from the army on April 22, 1946. He studied composition under Stefan Wolpe of New York and Miriam Gideon of Brooklyn College where he earned his B.A. in 1950. He then went on to study under Otto Luening of Columbia University where he earned his M.A. in 1952. In 1991 he was elected into the membership of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, in 2006, he was elected president for a three-year term ending in 2009. As of 2014 Laderman teaches music composition at Yale University. A resident of Teaneck, New Jersey, Laderman was named as Dean at the Yale School of Music in 1989 and served in that position to 1995.
- 1956 Guggenheim Fellowships
- 1964 Rome Prize American Academy in Rome
- 1983 Rome Prize American Academy in Rome
- Ezra Laderman, G. Schirmer Inc. Accessed October 24, 2011.
- Ezra Laderman, Theodore Presser Company. Accessed October 24, 2011.
- EZRA LADERMAN ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS
- via Associated Press. "Composer Named Dean Of Yale Music School", The New York Times, April 15, 1989. Accessed October 24, 2011. "Mr. Laderman, 64 years old, a resident of Teaneck, N.J., and of Woods Hole, Mass., is chairman of the American Composers' Orchestra and president of the National Music Council."
- Interview: Ezra Laderman on his own music
- Ezra Laderman, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Accessed October 24, 2011.
- Staff. Americans in Rome: Music by Fellows of the American Academy in Rome, American Academy in Rome, Fall 2008. Accessed October 24, 2011. "Ezra Laderman (FAAR ‘64, RAAR ‘83)"
- A list of his published works is available here at schirmer.com
- Yale School of Music
- Ezra Laderman at the Internet Movie Database