Remembrances

Heidi Lesemann

Alan proposed the New Music LA calendar to me when I took on the American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter. He was very straightforward about it: “LA needs a new music calendar. I think ACF-LA should publish it and I think I should edit it.” There was no possible question. I LOVED working with Alan. He made the short calendar descriptions utterly delicious with his wit, sarcasm and passion: For example: “GO calls itself an ‘organic orchestra’: all real instruments (including kanjiram, pandiero and dumbek) led by composer/conductor A____________ with the great autophysiopsychic world musician Y___________ as guest soloist/composer. Or: “Young British whizbang conductor Daniel Harding leads the LA Philharmonic in the US premiere of H.K. Gruber’s trumpet concerto known as Aerial; the highflying Hakan Hardenberg is soloist, and the program also includes works by Ives and (Richard, alas) Strauss…” And then there were the editorial discussions that he led on one end of the phone line. Alan allowed me to feel like a publisher, and perhaps in some instances I rose to the task. But whatever my failings, Alan never had any. Oh, and then there were the food discussions..and…Oh, I’ll miss him!!