Death of a leading US music publisher

Death of a leading US music publisher


norman lebrecht

May 26, 2020

We have been informed of the death of Lauren Keiser, chairman and publisher at Keiser-Southern Music and former president of the Music Publishers Association.

The cause of death is presently unknown. It appears to have been sudden since Keiser  posted the following tribute to one of his composers just four weeks ago:

Krzysztof Penderecki

The greatest honor and thrill of my life was working and studying with the great composer, Krzysztof Penderecki. He was the most dominant and influential individual in my life. He taught me how to hear, feel, embrace and celebrate music. When he passed away a few days ago, I was destroyed. I became lifeless, helpless and soulless.
The incredible realization that the titan of musical genius in the 21st Century was part of my life was humbling. He was such a warm and supportive man.
During our time together, he demonstrated the metaphysical reality, and force of music to my young mind. I felt released from the bounds of Earth, existing in the universe that knows no end, no Alpha and Omega. He was the complete cosmos to me.




  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    This comes as a total shock. Lauren called me in February to share that he took over the Kalmus catalog, and we talked about so many projects as he is one of my publishers. There was no discussion of anything other than looking forward to new projects. This is terribly sad. His catalog served so many functions, and more than that, will miss his endearing friendship and entrepreneurial spirit. RIP dear friend.

  • Nancy Shear says:

    Lauren was a beloved friend and colleague — someone who loved music deeply and served it well. My heartfelt sympathy is extended to Pat and Matthew, and to the composers he considered to be his family.

  • I learned yesterday of Lauren’s passing through my friend Dana Perna. While we were speaking on the phone, I received another call from Joe Derhake, Vice-President of Keiser-Southern with the same news. Lauren was one of my publishers (as in Jeff Biegel’s case). I wish I had had the chance to know him better…… This is a loss for the music world which we will feel for many years to come.

  • Dana Paul Perna says:

    My sincerest condolences to Lauren’s family, from one whose life he left a massively profound effect upon. To me, on a personal note, his loss is one that I cannot fully express into words since there are those times, like this, when words will simply not suffice. While he will be deeply missed, his contribution to music must never become undervalued as his legacy carries on.