February 9, 1968; April 12, 1975; August 18, 1975
A guest conductor during three Cantata Singers concerts over seven years, Leon Kirchner led performances of music by J.S. Bach, Igor Stravinsky, Robert Schumann, and David del Tredici. For some of these performances, the chorus of Cantata Singers appeared as guests with the Boston Philhamonia, a professional chamber orchestra that thrived in the late 1960s and 70s.
Esteemed pianist, conductor, and one of America’s foremost composers, Mr. Kirchner studied with Arnold Schoenberg, Roger Sessions, and Ernest Bloch. His compositions received the Walter W. Naumburg Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Center’s Friedheim Award, and two honors from the New York Music Critics’ Circle. His works were commissioned by distinguished organizations that included the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Kirchner held professorships at the Juilliard School, Yale University, Mills College, University of California, and then at Harvard University, where he taught for more than thirty years.