Leslie Bassett, Pulitzer winning composer passed away in Oakwood, Georgia. He was 93. As a master composer he was known for his lush sonorities and ecumenical instrumentation and for compositions of coaxing a vast range of tonal colours from the bits of wood and brass.
Leslie Bassett was born in Hanford, California on January 22, 1923. He had served as trombonist, composer and arranger in the US Army and Europe during World War II. In his work, he strongly favoured chromatic language mainly at the intersection of tonality and atonality. His music offered a lucid clarity of means and expression. His music has been recorded on many labels some of them are Composers Recordings (CRI), New World, Crystal, Albany and MMC.
At his death, he was the Albert A. Stanley distinguished university professor emeritus of composition at the University of Michigan, where he had taught from 1952 until his retirement in 1992. Bassett received the Pulitzer in 1966 for “Variations for Orchestra,” which had been given its United States premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy the year before. Bassett is survived by his wife, Anita; a son, Noel; and a daughter, Wendy Bassett Baker. A son, Ralph, died previously.