The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 23, 2012

Robert F. Leng

Star Beacon

FREMONT, Calif. — Former Ashtabula resident and lifelong musician, Robert Forman Leng, age 54, died October 4, 2012, in Fremont, Calif., after suffering a lengthy illness.

Robert served as CO-director, conductor, and composer at The Decisive Instant, a large creative music ensemble that includes veterans of the Los Angeles improvisational and creative new music community. He also engaged for many years in music composition, orchestration, arranging, and publishing projects under the umbrella of his own organization, Point Beyond Music. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 1998, he was Faculty Instructor and Music Theory Coordinator at Fairmount School of Music in Cleveland Heights, OH.

Leng's education included a post-graduate fellowship with composer Karlheinz Stockhausen at Hochschule für Musik Köln in Germany. He engaged in MA/PhD composition studies at UCLA with Paul Chihara, Jerry Goldsmith, and Ian Krouse, and composition studies at Cleveland State University with Rudolph Bubalo, Edwin London, and Eric Ziolek, earning a BM/MM in Music Composition & Theory. He was an elected member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society - Delta Tau Chapter.

Robert Leng was a multi-instrumentalist whose interests included improvisation, experimental and avant-garde music. His influences were artists ranging from Thelonius Monk and Ornette Coleman to Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix. His primary instruments were saxophone and keyboards. Over the years, he performed for fun with a number of pop bands and, more recently, improvisational collaborations.

His groups and associations include American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; American Federation of Musicians; American Music Center; American Composers Forum; Society for Electro-Acoustic Music - US; International Alliance of Composers; Pi Kappa Lambda; The Composer Collective. For many years, he supported the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

There will be an Ash Scattering Memorial Service at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27th, off the coast of Long Beach. Anyone wishing to attend, please contact Deborah Grantham at

Donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the Silver Lake Music Conservatory of Music.

Obituary and condolences at and