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Former Yale Music Dean, Who Wrote Songs for Oscar-Winning Films and Yo-Yo Ma, Dies at 90

Ezra Laderman, a former Yale School of Music administrator and classical music composer whose works ranged from symphonies to operas to music for Academy Award-winning films, has died. He was 90.

The Yale School of Music, where Laderman was dean from 1989 to 1995, announced his death on its website. The school said he died Saturday, but didn't give a cause.

His operas included "Marilyn," based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, which premiered at the New York City Opera in 1993, and he wrote the music for Oscar-winning documentaries "The Eleanor Roosevelt Story" and "Black Fox."

In his career, he also wrote 12 string quartets, 11 concertos, eight symphonies, six "dramatic oratorios and seven operas, according to the Yale School of Music's website.

New York Times music reviewer Anthony Tommasini wrote in the newspaper about the New York premiere of Laderman's new "Quartet for Piano and Strings" in 1996, commenting that "Mr. Laderman’s gruff, kinetic music mixes pungently atonal elements into a harmonic language that is tonally rooted and clearly directed."

Laderman describing his own work once said, “When I was very young, everything I wrote was tonal; and after that, atonal; and then serial. Finally, I’ve come back to tonality—but in a synthesized form, with the freedom to call upon all techniques," according to the Yale School of Music website.

He wrote for soloists like Yo-Yo Ma and led numerous professional organizations, including a stint as president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He remained a professor at the Yale School of Music until he retired in 2013.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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