Breaking: An American composer is found dead

Breaking: An American composer is found dead


norman lebrecht

November 12, 2013

We’ve been informed that Arnold Rosner was found dead yesterday in his apartment. He had just turned 68 and had apparently been dead for several days.

Rosner wrote copiously for concert band. He also leaves three operas and eight symphonies.




  • Arnold was a brilliant composer who WILL be missed. His

    music had depth, originality and beauty

  • Ellen Winston says:

    Does anyone have any information about funeral arrangements?

    • Harry Marenstein says:

      I would suggest contacting the Department of Communications and Performing Arts at Kingsborough Community College, where he was on the faculty.

    • CUNY Kingsborough says:

      The service for Professor Arnold Rosner will be:

      Friday, November 15 at 11:15 a.m.

      Riverside Memorial Chapel

      180 W. 76th Street, at Amsterdam Avenue,

      New York, NY

      Phone: 212- 362-6600

  • Rosner,was a true original, and one gifted with the ability to communicate emotionally and directly. I hope his work will receive wider dissemination.

    • Harry Marenstein says:


      I sent a link to WQXR about his death. Surprisingly, neither the New York Times, nor WQXR, who play his works every few months, have picked this up.

  • Robert says:

    Oh, how ghastly. To be dead and undiscovered for days on end. RIP.

  • Arnold was an amazing man, composer and teacher. He and I were students at the State University of NY at Buffalo in the late 1960’s, early ’70’s. He consistently maintained that the whole avant-garde, 12-tone and aleatoric modes of composing were dead ends and musically worthless. I must say he quite possibly was correct on that. He vastly preferred his personal idols: Palestrina, Hovhaness and Vaughan Williams to name but a few. He was the first person to receive a PhD in music composition from that university. His knowledge of music was encyclopedic and particularly enjoyed challenging anyone to a game of “Opus Quiz” (e.g. Prokofiev, Op. 100 = ??? ). He was always entertaining and a great conversationalist. He had his own unique vocabulary of terms and phrases that he coined referring mostly to music, but also life in general. For example, theory students shuddered, albeit whimsically, when Arnie would spot “double dumpties’ in their assignments. Those were the dreaded parallel fifths. I think of him often and regret that I did not meet up with him after those years.

  • Jessica says:

    RIP Prof. Rosner

    He was one of the Best professors I’ve ever had! I will always appreciate classical music thanks to you! Heaven has now received one of the best composers of all time! Your Kingsborough family will miss you dearly! ❤️

    • Irene David says:

      This means a great deal to me as I am Arnie’s sister. The outpouring of wonderful comments is helping me through this surreal experience. As an educator myself, the perspective of a student has particular meaning.

      Irene Rosner David