Leroy Robertson was born on December 21, 1896, in Fountain Green, Utah, and died July 25, 1971, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He studied with George Chadwick, Ernest Bloch, Hugo Leichtentritt, Arnold Schoenberg, and Ernst Toch and is himself ranked among these leading composers of the 20th century. Often hailed as the “Dean of Mormon Composers,” he completed formal studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston and taught at Brigham Young University (1925–1948) and the University of Utah (1948–1966), where he was department head until 1962. He was also a member of the LDS Church General Music Committee for many years and chaired it from 1962 through 1969.
Dr. Robertson was a prolific composer in all musical genres, and many of his compositions brought him international fame. Among them are the String Quintet, String Quartet, American Serenade, Trilogy (Symphony No. II), and the Passacaglia. His Oratorio from the Book of Mormon is widely regarded as one of the most significant contributions to the musical art of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.