[ in the press ]

Musical America: Mitch Leigh Dies at 86

Musical America
via Associated Press

NEW YORK — Mitch Leigh, a successful advertising jingle writer with an exuberantly entrepreneurial side whose debut attempt at writing music for a Broadway show became the instant, celebrated hit Man of La Mancha and earned him a Tony Award, has died. He was 86.

Leigh died Sunday in New York of pneumonia and complications from a stroke. A memorial was held yesterday afternoon in Manhattan and all Broadway theater marquees will dim in his honor for one minute at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“Mitch would have enjoyed every 60 seconds of that minute. He would have been honored. It’s really, really wonderful news on a day of gloomy news here,” his wife, artist Abby Leigh, said Monday. MORE

Published March 18, 2014
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[ alumni ]

In memoriam: Mitch Leigh ’51 BM, ’52 MM


Mitch Leigh visiting the School of Music in 2011

Mitch Leigh visiting the School of Music in 2011

Mitch Leigh, a Yale graduate and benefactor, died yesterday morning, March 16. He had a stroke a little over a week ago. Dean Blocker announced the news to the School’s community “with immense gratitude for his life and unspeakable sadness for our loss.”

Mitch Leigh was born in 1928 in Brooklyn. His parents, who had arrived in New York in 1921, made it a priority for him to study music. After attending the High School of Music and Art, he joined the army in 1946 in order to take advantage of the G.I. Bill. While recovering at Walter Reed Army Hospital from a baseball injury, he heard music by Paul Hindemith on the radio and wrote to him at Yale. The next fall he enrolled, earning his bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1951 and his master’s from the Yale School of Music in 1952.

Dean Blocker noted, “Mitch Leigh continually maintained that his time at Yale was the turning point in his life. His love and admiration for Keith Wilson, his lifelong friendship with Willie Ruff, and his gratitude for having Paul Hindemith as his teacher were all dominant themes in his Yale experience.” MORE

Published March 17, 2014
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[ in the press ]

In the Press: Under Hindemith’s Wing

The Jewish Week (New York)

By George Robinson

Hindemith_CollegeStIf, as Shakespeare famously wrote, every man in his time plays many parts, it should come as no surprise that various observers will see him differently over time. The time span needn’t even be a particularly long one. Consider the case of the 20th-century composer Paul Hindemith. While in exile to escape the Nazis, Hindemith taught at the Yale School of Music and, in that capacity he mentored a distinguished group of younger composers whose music is being performed, along with that of Hindemith himself, on Nov. 22 in a concert tribute “Hindemith at Yale.” Of the five Hindemith protégés whose work will be on the program, the two who are still alive have recollections of Hindemith that seem to be calculated to make the listener think they are discussing completely different, albeit potent, teachers. MORE

Published November 20, 2013
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[ concerts ]

Concerts explore the legacy of Paul Hindemith Nov. 21 & 22

YNY-HindemithThe Yale School of Music will explore the legacy of Paul Hindemith (1895–1963) in two concerts on November 21 and 22. Hindemith, an innovative composer and theorist as well as a passionate educator, served on the Yale School of Music faculty 1940–53 and left a legacy of invention and exploration that still characterizes the School’s programs.

The Legacy of Paul Hindemith commemorates sixty years since the composer’s stay in New Haven and fifty years since his death, with a program that presents his own compositions side-by-side with music by his Yale students. The program, which is part of the Yale in New York series, will be presented in New Haven on November 21 and in New York City on November 22; details are below.


Published November 8, 2013
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