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Ezra Laderman Papers

Call Number: MSS 133

Scope and Contents

The Papers are focused principally on Laderman’s prolific career as a composer. Virtually all of his compositions are held in the collection, including chamber music, orchestral works, operas and musicals, oratorios and cantatas, and scores for film and television. The collection contains many sketches and drafts, which give insight into Laderman’s compositional process. The collection also contains a significant number of reel-to-reel recordings of Laderman’s works.

The remainder of the collection consists of correspondence, writings, clippings, programs, documents and awards. The correspondence is divided into three subseries: Correspondence with significant figures; Correspondence by subject; and Correspondence by date. Researchers are advised to consult all three subseries when looking for material on a specific topic. The Writings, Professional Activities and Photographs series contains a range of material related to Laderman’s roles as President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Chairman of Music Programs the National Endowment for the Arts, and Dean of the Yale School of Music. Researchers should also consult the Correspondence by Subject subseries for correspondence related to Laderman’s professional activities.

Clippings, publicity, and programs span the whole of Laderman’s career – from the 1940s through 2015. The Documents and awards series includes items such as degree certificates, school report cards, and award plaques.


  • 1924 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


The Papers are divided into seven series: I. Music; II. Audiovisual material; III. Correspondence; IV. Writings and professional activities; V. Clippings and publicity; VI. Programs; and VII. Documents and awards. The Papers were received in several installments over a period of thirty years. The collection was partially processed in the 1990s, which influenced its current arrangement.


96 boxes

71 Linear Feet (100 containers)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Biographical / Historical

Ezra Laderman ranks among the leading American composers of his time. Born in Brooklyn in 1924, he was educated at the High School of Music and Art, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University; his teachers included Stefan Wolpe, Miriam Gideon, Otto Luening, and Douglas Moore. Service in the U.S. Army during World War II interrupted his formal education, but not his compositional career; after participating in the liberation of Leipzig, he wrote a symphony inspired by the experience.

Laderman was a prolific composer in a range of genres; he produced numerous symphonies, concertos, and chamber works, and he created operas based on characters as varied as Galileo Galilei and Marilyn Monroe. His music has been performed by many leading ensembles and soloists, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Elmar Oliveira, and Jean-Pierre Rampal. His musical career spanned several eras; he began composing as a boy in the 1930s, and he continued nearly until his death in 2015.

Laderman was an educator and administrator as well as a composer. He taught at several institutions, most notably the Yale School of Music, where he served as Dean and as Professor of Composition. He was Chairman of Music Programs at the National Endowment for the Arts, and President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Music Center, and the National Music Council.

Separated Materials

Duplicates of manuscript scores, and published, ummarked scores have been separated from the collection.

Guide to the Ezra Laderman Papers
Finding aid compiled by Emily DiLeo, with the assistance of Jacob Fewx and Jane Meditz. Biographical note written by Richard Boursy.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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