Otto Leuning and Vladimir Ussachevsky in the Electronic Music Center
Photograph, no date
Columbia University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Electronic music’s pioneer was Vladimir Ussachevsky, who taught composition at Columbia from 1947 until 1980. Using monies from the Ditson Fund, the Department of Music purchased an Ampex 400 tape recorder and microphone in 1951. Ussachevsky demonstrated the new medium for the first time publicly at his Composers Forum concert on May 9, 1952 at McMillin Theater. In October of that year, the electronic compositions of Ussachevsky and Otto Luening were introduced by Leopold Stokowski at a concert at the Museum of Modern Art.
In this photograph, the Ampex 400 tape recorder is in the foreground at the left of the image.