Leslie Bassett


Leslie Bassett was born in Hanford, California in 1923, and was raised in the San Joaquin Valley where he was trained in piano and trombone. During World War II, he served over three years in army bands as a trombonist, arranger and composer, and later he studied composition with such notables as Ross Lee Finney, Arthur Honegger, and Nadia Boulanger. His many honors and awards include the Pulitzer Prize in Music, the Prix de Rome, a Fulbright Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, as well as commissions from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Koussevitsky Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Mr. Bassett joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1952, where he later served as Chair of the Composition Department. In 1984, he was appointed the Henry Russell Lecturer, the university's highest faculty honor. He is currently the Albert A. Stanley Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Music and continues to influence the rising generation of composers to this day. Bassett's works have been performed by the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, Syracuse, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, the radio orchestras of Rome, Zurich, and the Netherlands, and the American Composers Orchestra. In addition to orchestral pieces, he has written extensively for wind ensemble, choir, voice, and a wide variety of chamber music combinations. His catalogue contains over one hundred works.

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