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Pianist Laura Leon

Leo Kraft: A "Full Composer" talks Life, Music and String Quartet No. 2

American "Full Composer" Leo Kraft (1922-2014) as he preferred-vs. Professor Emeritus-following his retirement from the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music--discussed music, life and teaching in a relaxed conversation in August 2013, along with memorable keyboard moments, with pianist Laura Leon.

Distinguished composer, author and educator, Leo talked about his compositional and life philosophies and inspirations, as well as composers spanning 14th century's Josquin des Prez, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Schoenberg, to Ned Rorem, Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter--right up to compositions of the moment.

Leo Kraft was a master of streamlined composition, infused with purpose, sensitivity, and humor. He was deeply committed to teaching generations of musicians and those who loved music, the inner workings and magic of music.

Leo Kraft's chamber music, solo piano, instrumental, orchestral and choral compositions continue to be performed and recorded in the US and abroad. Kraft was an ASCAP composer, his works were published by Subito Music Corporation. and have been recorded on the CRI, Capstone/PARMA Recordings, Albany, Centaur and AUR labels.

His distinguished academic career included having served on the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY from 1947-1989 and Distinguished-Composer-in-Residence at NYU 1989-92. Kraft was an Advisory Committee member of the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music.

Born in Brooklyn, Leo celebrated his 91st birthday on July 24, 2013. This gift of a conversation was an opportunity to celebrate the occasion and celebrate this extraordinary composer in a very special way.

Film by Karen Leon, Broken Tail Productions

Partitas and More: Music by Leo Kraft
String Quartet no. 2 Audubon Quartet, Recording Courtesy of Capstone Records & Parma Recordings
Recorded NYU circa 1970. Recording Engineer: Guillermo Mager. Remarstered by David Barnes.
Copyright Seesaw Music (ASCAP), a division of Subito Music Corp. (
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.