Leonard Lehrman

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Leonard J[ordan] Lehrman is an American composer who was born in Kansas, on August 20, 1949, and grew up in Roslyn, NY. Since Aug. 3, 1999, he has resided in Valley Stream, NY. His teachers included Lenore Anhalt, Elie Siegmeister, Olga Heifetz, the Guarneri Quartet, Elizabeth Korte, Earl Kim, Kyriena Siloti, Harry Levin, Nadia Boulanger, Jean-Jacques Painchaud, Leon Kirchner, James Yannatos, Karel Husa, William Austin, Robert Palmer, George Gibian, Tibor Kozma, Wolfgang Vacano, John Eaton (composer), Donald Erb, and Herbert Deutsch. On July 31, 1978 he married Karen Shaw Campbell. They were divorced in November, 1986. On July 14, 2002 he married Helene Williams Spierman. They have collaborated on over 600 performances since March 1987, including 17 CDs and over 2400 videos on YouTube, with over 230,000 views to date.

Life and career[edit]

Lehrman has composed 228 works to date, including 11 operas and 7 musicals. He won the 2002 Sunrise/Sunset Competition of the Brookhaven Arts Council in 2002 for his setting of Abel Meeropol (Lewis Allan)'s poem "Conscience". Since 1973 he has worked as conductor, coach, pianist, composer, and/or translator for the Metropolitan Opera (Assistant Chorus Master 1977-78), Bel Canto Opera, After Dinner Opera Company, Aviva Players, the Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus, the Jewish Music Theater of Berlin, the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus, the Workmen's Circle Chorus, the Oceanside Chorale, the Blaue Jungs/Hanseaten Deern German Chorus of East Meadow, and the Bronx Opera. He edited The Marc Blitzstein Songbook (3v., Boosey & Hawkes 1999-2003), authored Marc Blitzstein: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood/Praeger, 2005), and co-authored Elie Siegmeister, American Composer: A Bio-Bibliography (Scarecrow, 2010). He has also written for The Hilltop Beacon (Critic-at-Large, 1966–67), Harvard Crimson (Critic, 1967–68), WHRB (Chief Producer, 1968–70), Dunster Drama Review (1970–71), Risley Review (1973–75), WBAI (Producer, "Music of All the Americas," 1989-91), Opera Monthly (Associate Editor, 1990–94), Opera Journal (Critic, 1995–97), Aufbau (Critic, 1995-2002), andante.com (2002), Jewish Currents (1981–present), New Music Connoisseur (2001-2016, part of that time as Copy Editor), Soundwordsight.com (2015–present), and other publications.

His operas include Tales of Malamud (Idiots First (1973) - completion of work begun by Marc Blitzstein; Karla (1974); and Suppose A Wedding (1996), based on two stories and a play by Bernard Malamud); Sima (1976), based on The Krasovitsky Couple by David A. Aizman, tr. Edgar H. Lehrman; Hannah (1980) based on Midrashic legends, libretto in collaboration with Orel Protopopescu; The Family Man (1984), based on story by Mikhail Sholokhov; The Birthday of the Bank (1988), in Russian (and English tr. by composer) on Anton Chekhov's Yubilei; New World: An Opera About What Columbus Did to the "Indians" (1991), libretto in collaboration with Joel Shatzky; Sacco and Vanzetti - completion of work begun by Marc Blitzstein; The Wooing (2003), libretto by Abel Meeropol based on Anton Chekhov's The Boor; and The Triangle Fire (2016), libretto by Ellen Frankel.

His musicals include The Comic Tragedy of San Po Jo (1963), book & lyrics in collaboration with Mark Kingdon[disambiguation needed]; Growing Up Woman (1979), book & lyrics by Barbara Tumarkin Dunham; Kommt, wir aendern die Welt! (1981), book & lyrics by Guenter-Heinz Loscher, translated into Brooklynese by composer as Let's Change the Woild!; E.G.: A Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman (1987), book & lyrics in collaboration with Karen Ruoff Kramer; Superspy!: The S-e-c-r-e-t Musical (1988–91, rev. 2014), book by Joel Shatzky, lyrics in collaboration; The Booby Trap or Off Our Chests (2001-8), book by Sydney Ross Singer, lyrics in collaboration; Adam & Lilith & Eve (1993-2015), book by Manya Pruzhanskaya Lackow.

His translations include Bertolt Brecht's Days of the Commune (1971) and Round Heads and Pointed Heads (1973), 20 Johannes Brahms songs, 13 Gerhard Bronner cabaret songs, Harry Oschitzki (Andy Orieli) and Heinrich Heine cycles, and other poems and essays from the German; Emmanuel Chabrier's L'Etoile (1988) and An Incomplete Education (2006) and songs by Claude Debussy (10), Jacques Brel, and Georges Brassens from the French; songs by Ya'acov Rotblit and Naomi Shemer from the Hebrew; "In der Fremd" from the Yiddish by Leyb Naydus; an ode by Euripides from the ancient Greek; Modest Mussorgsky's Zhenitba (Getting Married) (1973), Mikhail Glinka's A Life for the Tsar (1979), and Rusalka (Dargomyzhsky) (1986) from the Russian - in collaboration with his mother, Emily R. Lehrman (1923-2015), along with poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and [Andrei Voznesensky]] (1967); Vladimir Mayakovsky (1970); Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Blok, Afanasy Fet, Ivan Krylov, Gavrila Derzhavin (all 1977); Velemir Khlebnikov and Alexander Pushkin (1986); Yefim Medvedovsky (2013-2016); and Galina Leybovich (2015). In 2016 he translated Sergei Slonimsky's opera King Lear, based on the Boris Pasternak Russian translation of Shakespeare, back into English.

From 1992 to 2003 he was Music Director at Malverne Community Presbyterian Church and from 1995 to 2001 at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset. Having worked at many other churches and synagogues, in February 2014 he became Organist/ChoirDirector/Composer-in-Residence of Christ Church Lutheran in Rosedale, NY. In August 2014 he became High Holidays Organist/Choir Director of the Metropolitan Synagogue in Manhattan. His works and performances are represented on recordings by Opus One, Premier, Capstone Records, Albany Records, Original Cast (record label), and Ravello (Parma Records).

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

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