Leland C. Smith - Biographical notes:
I was born August 6, 1925 in Oakland, California. I began serious study of music at the age of 11, concentrating on the piano and woodwinds, but also learning the rudiments of brass and string instruments. I joined the Musicians' Union at the age of 17 (playing tenor sax in dubious San Francisco nightclubs) and am now a life member. I began composing at age 11 and, after brief music theory studies in the Oakland Public Schools, I began, at the age of 15, studying counterpoint, orchestration, and composition with Darius Milhaud - who magically appeared in my Oakland neighborhood in 1941. During the war years I served for 2 1/2 years in the Navy, regularly performing on six different instruments as a member of the 13th Naval District Admiral's band based in Bremerton, Washington. After the war I spent 2 1/2 years at the University of California in Berkeley studying with Roger Sessions. In that time I received the A.B. degree with Highest Honors in Music, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received the M.A. in composition. During that same time I became an assistant to Darius Milhaud in his teaching at Mills College. In 1948 I began a year's study at the Paris Conservatory, which included classes of Olivier Messiaen and woodwind performance and conducting.
In 1950 I returned to New York where I began playing in concerts of the National Orchestral Association and the International Society for Contemporary Music. I also worked for the Mercury Music Publishing Company. In the fall of 1950 I was engaged as a bassoonist with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. In the years up to the mid-sixties I also played in the San Francisco Symphony, the orchestras of the New York City Ballet and the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Chicago Symphony.
My teaching career covered 42 years and included public school music, one year at Mills College, six years at the University of Chicago, and 34 years at Stanford, where I served as major advisor for 41 students receiving music doctorates in composition, computer music and musicology. I also have taught at Colgate University and served as Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Davis. My compositions have been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, the Orchestra of America (Carnegie Hall), and the Singapore Symphony. Also my works have been presented in Athens, Belgrade, Paris, London, Chicago, Taipei, etc. I have lectured on various musical topics in over 10 different countries in America, Europe and Asia.
In the 1960's I began working with computer-generated sound and assisted John Chowning in the founding of the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). I served as a musical programming consultant for the establishment of the IRCAM center in Paris. In 1970 I turned my attention to computerized music typography, producing the first completely computer-produced edition of music in 1971. In 1979 I published the first book on music ever produced completely by the computer. The outgrowth of this work, the SCORE music typography system, is now being used by many of the world's leading publishers.
I was married for 65 years to Edith Smith (1925-2011), an artist and teacher. I have three children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Leland Smith and friend.