Leroy Anderson (June 29, 1908 – May 18, 1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, of which many were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. John Williams described him as “one of the great American masters of light orchestral music.”
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Swedish parents, Anderson was given his first piano lessons by his mother, who was a church organist. He continued studying piano at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1925 Anderson entered Harvard College, where he studied musical harmony with Walter Spalding, counterpoint with Edward Ballantine, canon and fugue with William C. Heilman, orchestration with Edward B. Hill and Walter Piston, composition, also with Piston, and double bass with Gaston Dufresne. He also studied organ with Henry Gideon. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude in 1929 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In Harvard University Graduate School, he studied composition with Walter Piston and George Enescu and received a Master of Arts in Music in 1930.
In 1975, Anderson died of cancer in Woodbury, Connecticut and was buried there.