Leroy Anderson (1908 - 1975)
Leroy Anderson was born in 1908 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Swedish immigrants. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in music at Harvard, where he played the trombone and was director of the Harvard University Band. He was multi-talented – after graduating in Music he studied German & Scandinavian languages! His clever music arrangements brought him to the attention of Arthur Fiedler, music director of the Boston Pops, who encouraged him to write original compositions for the orchestra.
During World War II, the Army made use of Anderson's fluency in languages. He served as a translator and interpreter in Iceland, and eventually headed the Scandinavian section of Military Intelligence in the Pentagon.
Though not as ancient an instrument as the Glass Harmonica, the typewriter is equally rare in the modern concert hall. It dates from the late 19th century, and was a device for machine printing, usually with a keyboard, to replace hand-writing. But as a machine it was superseded in the 1980s by the "word processor", a device which has in turn been replaced by the "personal computer". Therefore, this is now an instrument of some historical interest, and we hope to give an historically authentic performance of this rare piece tonight.