Leroy Anderson

Fun Facts

  • A gifted linguist, Anderson mastered many languages. He originally planned to become a language teacher, but decided to give music a try first.

  • Anderson's parents played the mandolin and guitar, and his mother was his first piano teacher.

  • For Leroy Anderson's high school graduation, he composed, orchestrated, and conducted the class song.

  • Leroy Anderson attended Harvard University.

  • During World War II, Leroy Anderson joined the U.S. Army as a translator and intelligence officer.

  • Leroy Anderson's parents were immigrants from Sweden.

  • Anderson's composition Jazz Pizzicato, at just over ninety seconds, was too short for a three-minute 78-RPM single of the period. At Arthur Fiedler's suggestion of a companion piece, Anderson wrote Jazz Legato.

  • Employing creative instrumental effects, Leroy Anderson's musical style occasionally makes use of interesting non-musical items such as typewriters and sandpaper.

  • Leroy Anderson's Blue Tango was the first instrumental recording ever to sell a million copies.

  • The Hollywood Walk of Fame includes a star with Leroy Anderson's name.

  • Leroy Anderson's Irish Suite was composed in just eleven days.

More Resources

Fun Facts

Check out our collection of interesting and (some) little known facts about Anderson.

Biography

View Leroy Anderson's full biography.