Simon, Robert Leopold
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February 8, 1923 - January 23, 2013
Composer, professor, and ethnomusicologist, Dr. Robert Simon, passed away on January 23, 2013 of complications of congestive heart failure. The son of Samuel Simon and Rose Levene, Professor Simon was born in San Francisco, where he attended Lowell High School. After serving in World War II, he studied music composition with Dante Fiorillo in New York. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at NYU and his Master of Arts degree in Music Composition from San Francisco State University. In 1974 he completed his doctorate in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. He married Baila Goldenthal in 1947, with whom he had two daughters, Tamara Ambroson and Maurya Simon Falk. In 1984 Dr. Simon married Marilyn Micheau. During his long career as a music educator, he taught bands, orchestras, and choirs in public schools in California and Europe. During his nearly 20-year tenure at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Professor Simon introduced the first classes in mariachi music and Indonesian gamelan music, as well as new courses in world music. He composed, published, and had performed a number of orchestral, band, solo instrumental, and chamber music works. He also published scholarly articles on South Indian devotional music, which appear in two editions of "Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians." Additional articles appeared in "The Journal of Ethnomusicology." Simon loved to travel and combined music research with journeys to India and Romania, where he was a Fulbright Fellow in 1988. Robert Simon is survived by his beloved wife, Marilyn, brother Lowell Simon, sister Janet Natov, two daughters, sons-in-law Donald Ambroson and Robert Falk, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
There will be a private family memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to The Music Circle, c/o www.musiccircle.org, "In memory of Dr. Robert L. Simon."
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 17, 2013