Please Help Me Identify This Composer

My local NPR station (91.9 FM WUIS Springfield, IL) played an interesting song Friday afternoon at about 2:00 PM Central Standard Time, IIRC. I believe it was on the Performance Today program, but it could have been earlier in the day, before PT begins (on my NPR station PT begins at Noon or 1:00, I think).

Anyway, the song gave me a kind of modern, elevator music kind of vibe, reminiscent of Henry Mancini or Percy Faith. It was high on orchestration and melody. It had an upbeat tempo and had a weird arrangement. Basically a piano (or maybe two) would play a melody for a few bars, then the orchestra would go on playing that melody, or variations, then back to the piano, with more variations, repeating the cycle up to a rather exciting conclusion.

I have completely forgotten the name of the composer. It sounded like an American name, and ISTR an “L” and an “A” in the name. Something like Lawrence Anderson, or LeRoy Allen, or something like that.

However, the playlist for that date doesn’t list any composers with any name sounding like what I just mentioned. So I either imagined the name, heard it wrong, or else PT plays some selections that aren’t included on the day’s playlist.

Here are the names on that day’s playlist:

Grieg (“Morning Mood” and Nocturne in C Major, Op. 54, No. 4)
Martucci (Fantasia in G Minor, Op. 51)
Joseph Lanner (called “The Waltz King” on PT’s website, but the song I heard didn’t sound like any waltz I’ve ever heard)
Mozart (definitely was not Mozart)

Anyway, does my vague description ring any bells? And are there any American, British, Australian or Kiwi composers named “L- A-”? Any of the composers on Friday’s playlist have a song like I described? I’d love to hear it again!


My first guess would have been George Gershwin, even before I got to the list. But there’s neither an ‘L’ nor an ‘A’ in his name.

Well the piece you described reminded me of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

LeRoy Anderson?

Louis Andriessen is the only modern composer with those initials that I can think of - anything from these samples sound similar?

All your clues suggest Leroy Anderson who wrote a whole group of “pops” pieces like Syncopated Clock, Serenata, Belle of the Ball, Blue Tango, Sleigh Ride, and so forth.

I was going to suggest Leroy Anderson too, but the description of piano-orchestra-piano-orchestra doesn’t sound like any Anderson works I’m familiar with (and I was practically raised on him–my folks had a lot of Boston Pops LPs).

Of the listed composers, Gershwin sounds closest.

Leroy Anderson sounds like it might be correct. Very “Pops” sounding, the piece was. I’m going to look around for some samples.

Thanks for all the help!

I listened to a few samples of Leroy Anderson on and I definitely think the song I heard was one of his, although the orchestra playing it might have juiced it up a bit. I’m going to e-mail Fred Child at PT and see if he can guide me to a CD.