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Buy 'Lou Harrison: Composing a World' by Leta Miller and Fredric Lieberman.

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Lou Harrison, 1917-2003

Long-time Aptos resident and world-renowned composer Lou Harrison died of a heart attack Sunday, Feb. 2, while traveling to a music festival in Indiana. He was 85. The avant-garde composer, poet, artist, peace and environmental activist has been credited with bringing together Western and Asian classical styles in his works. Some of his most famed pieces make exquisite use of the chimelike percussive sounds of the Indonesian gamelan. With his partner Bill Colvig (who passed away in 2000), Harrison often constructed his own metal percussion instruments. Read articles and reviews from our archives about Harrison.


Birthday Notes: SJ Symphony salutes Aptos composer Lou Harrison.

A Medal for Lou: An avant garde classical composer and conductor from Santa Cruz braves the summertime wilds of New Hampshire's MacDowell Colony to witness a landmark honor for Aptos composer Lou Harrison.

A Sound Life: Longtime Lou Harrison partner Bill Colvig crafted an artful contribution to music that resonates with ingenuity.

Rugged Individualist: Instrument-builder, activist and mountain man Bill Colvig lent a quiet presence--and wry humor--to classical music and gay-rights causes.



Outside Metroactive

New Albion Records: The label's Lou Harrison page.

San Jose State University School of Music & Dance: The Lou Harrison Archive site.

Cabrillo Music Festival: The festival's Lou Harrison bio.


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Web extra to the February 6-12, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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