Today's Classical Music Video

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tom Lehrer: One of the Great Musical Satirists


Back in the 1960s a little-known Harvard mathematician named Tom Lehrer amused himself and his friends with satirical songs he composed and performed. Lehrer developed a cult following that continues to the present day. Lehrer himself is now 83 and has long since retired from both teaching and performing but his songs live on.
Lehrer was born in New York, studied mathematics and went on to teach at Harvard and MIT. He moved to California in 1972 and taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz for nearly 30 years.

Many of his songs are political and some reflect his pervasive black humour. The song "Pollution" remains relevant today. Lehrer gave few live performances and hated touring but in 1967 he went to Oslo for some concerts. This video was recorded at one of them and is now available on DVD.

Paul E. Robinson

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