About Lawrence R. Mumford
The French philosopher Jules Combarieu once said, "Music is the art of thinking with sounds."
But music is more than thought - it is also a language of the soul.
Lawrence Richard Mumford, who lives in greater Los Angeles, is an award-winning composer
with music published by eight different companies.
"Very cinematic and translucent... there’s a Gershwinesque sense of contentment mixed with moments of bittersweetness, and a towering, Vaughan Williams-like pastoral solidity," said New York Music Daily,
referring to his Of Times and Seasons.
"The mood of this work strikes my ears as celebratory, somewhat in the vein of Copland’s Outdoor Overture, but with Mumford’s voice instead of that of his musical forebear... this music exudes a western flavor and spirit, with colorful and well-crafted orchestration... it makes a considerable impression and will whet the appetite of the listener to explore more of Mumford’s outstanding music," said Fanfare magazine,
referring to his Hope and a Future and Sacrifice.
After its Chicago premiere, one reviewer called his Range of Light
“a stunning portrait of the Sierra Nevada.” His Freedom Crossing (Short Symphony No. 2) was called
“ ...eloquent...a centerpiece among other works on the program.” Upon accepting a number of his vocal pieces, a publisher said, “We are so pleased to offer you contracts...thank you so much
for the opportunity to promote your beautiful music...”
Mumford's symphonic compositions have been premiered across the US and played regularly on some of the largest radio stations in the country. A set of orchestral themes were heard on daily broadcasts in over 50 cities for more than fourteen years. Thirteen of his pieces have recently reached the winner's circle, finalist, or semifinalist stage for The American Prize, and many have been presented at national conferences. An album containing one of his songs reached #1 on a Billboard playlist
and was later named “Record of the Year.”
He completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at the University of Southern California, where his instructors included Robert Moore, Frederick Lesemann, and Morton Lauridsen. He studied film scoring, in classes or private lessons, with Jerry Goldsmith (d. 2004), Earle Hagen (d. 2008),
and, through USC’s film scoring program, David Raksin (d. 2004). He also did doctoral work in composition at Indiana University, earned a Master's in composition in one year at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University with a Bachelor's degree in music theory and minors in voice and piano. He was part of an ensemble that premiered one of the last works by the great American songwriter Irving Berlin (d. 1989); and he was an invitee to a master class given by
Aaron Copland (d. 1990).
In addition to composing, Mumford serves as a university music professor and also maintains a small private piano teaching practice. For about a decade he was a church music director and organist.
His favorite hobby is sailing - he is a certified instructor -
and his wife Donna is both his biggest fan and his best advisor.