His father's music ... Leroy Anderson's son conducts MV Symphony pops concert
Originally published Friday, May 2, 2003
The Times-News TWIN FALLS, IDAHO
Kurt Anderson certainly isn't the first conductor to lead an orchestra through any number of compositions
his father wrote. But Kurt will bring a personal touch to the Magic Valley Symphony's pops concert tonight when under his
baton it plays Leroy Anderson's music. "My father's musical legacy is so large, so unique, that it carries itself,'' Kurt
said. ''I'm simply there to help people enjoy it a little bit more.'' Leroy Anderson wrote some of the most familiar 20th
century American popular music, including the near-ubiquitous ''Sleigh Ride'' as well as ''Blue Tango'' and ''The Syncopated
Anderson, who died in 1975 at the age of 67, was a graduate of Harvard University's music program. His clever
arrangements caught the attention of Arthur Fiedler, music director of the Boston Pops, who recruited Anderson to write for
the orchestra. The first piece was ''Jazz Pizzicato,'' written in 1938. Fiedler continued to premiere Anderson's works for
several years to come. Leroy Anderson married Eleanor Firke in 1942 and the two moved to Woodbury, Conn., where they raised
four children. Leroy Anderson conducted orchestras throughout North America and continued to compose his music until his death.
Today, Kurt -- general manager of Kurt Anderson is one the classical- music radio station WMNR in Connecticut
-- is the leading authority on his dad's music. He has had led several orchestras around the United States through his father's
works. "There are many composers that have written serious music and done it quite well," he said. "But there are very few
composers that have written music that makes you smile and I'm proud to say that my father did that quite well. So when I
conduct his music with any orchestra, it's always a treat." At tonight's concert, Kurt Anderson will lead the Magic Symphony
through a variety of his father's classic pieces including "Belle of the Ball," "The Syncopated Clock"."Plink, Plank, Plunk,"
"A Trumpeter's Lullaby," "Jazz Pizzicato" and "The Waltzing Cat.''