Fanfare for a Learned Man

Score title

Fanfare for a Learned Man


Libby Larsen

More about the composer



Program note

Fanfare for a Learned Man celebrates and honors the life and achievements of Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress, friend to St. John’s University, curator of our 20th Century culture, and mentor to hungry minds wherever they present themselves. Through his life’s work Dr. Billington has wisely and graciously stewarded the United States’ intellectual life, creating a welcoming atmosphere for discovery and debate of the issues of our time. Dr. Billington is a living, walking, one-man university.

Especially sought after for his knowledge of Russian culture, as part of this tribute to Dr. Billington, I’ve composed the B theme from the “Cossack Dance” from Tchaikovsky’s opera Mazeppa, a favorite opera of his, into the fabric of the music. It is a distinct honor to honor him with this fanfare. In doing so, we honor not only Dr. Billington, but all who have a deep love of learning.

My sincere thanks to Jack and Linda Hoeschler for commissioning the Fanfare for a Learned Man.

— Libby Larsen, March 2005