Fall/Winter 2006, vol. 14, No. 2, p.22

More on Our Honorees

To the Publisher:

I was very pleased to see Richard Brooks receive his award. During my tenure as the first President of the Long Island Composers Alliance (1991-98), I was also producer of the first four LICA CDs, beginning with The William Cullen Bryant Centennial Concert in 1993-94.

We were looking for an appropriate record label, and I warmly recall Joe Pehrson (who was on that first album, as composer and pianist) saying: "Why go searching in foreign streams when you have Brooks in your backyard!" Richard Brooks was a member of LICA and on the LCA board for a time, so it was indeed a natural for Capstone to be chosen as the label for LICA's CDs. Even though LICA has since drifted in a different direction, the warm relationship has continued. (Please see box on p.33 containing announcement co-sponsored by The Elie Siegmeister Society. Siegmeister's works are featured on three of our four Capstone CDs.)

I was also quite delighted to see Bob Sherman receive an award for his work in new music. Mimi Stern-Wolfe mentioned his gifts of organization and empathy. Allow me also to mention a bit more about his background and his commitment to music with a social conscience. Not only is he the son of pianist Nadia Reisenberg, he is also the nephew of thereminist Clara Rockmore and [her husband] Bob Rockmore, the attorney who defended Paul Robeson and many other progressives. Bob Sherman was responsible for producing shows for Elie Siegmeister's 70th and 80th birthdays (including the Manhattan premiere of
I Have A Dream, which I conducted), as well as interviews and excerpts from the Blitzstein-Lehrman Tales of Malamud in its N.Y. premiere, and my own E.G.: A Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman; Rosenberg Cantata ("We Are Innocent"); New World: An Opera About What Columbus Did to the "Indians"; and A Requiem for Hiroshima. Most recently, on the Jan. 8, 2006 WFUB broadcast of "Woody's Children," he included my Bush impeachment song, "Threescore Years Ago," coupled with Phil Ochs's "I Ain't A-Marchin' Anymore." On Dec. 12, 2005 he wrote me: "It'll probably get me fired, thrown off the air, and investigated by Congress, but I'll use the song on January 8th." And he did. For the courage that he showed then and all the other hundreds of other instances of it over the years, he certainly deserves NMC's New Music Media award.

Warm regards,
Leonard [J.] Lehrman