PhD, Musicology - UCLA
Russell Howland (clarinet)
Miriam Withrow, Georgianna Nicklett (piano)
Walter Rubsamen, Robert Stevenson (musicology)
Music of the World's Cultures
Intro To Music Literature II
Meet Dr. Brothers
Faculty Profile by Daniel Mollenkamp
Photography by Emily Jordan
Professional bio for programs and publications
Growing up in Hanford, California, Les fell in love with classical music, an art form that affected him intellectually, emotionally, and intuitively. He started playing clarinet in fifth grade. The next year he added piano, after a kind minister to whom he delivered the newspaper, noticed him listening from the curb to the opera he was playing, and offered lessons.
Soon Les was giving piano lessons to younger children and entered college intending to be a band director. By his junior year, his drive to learn ever more about the music itself took precedence, and he chose to study Music History and obtain his PhD.
His passionate pursuit of knowledge has led him to explore all of music history, with an emphasis on the western art music of the Renaissance and Baroque. His research has also shed light on the hexachord mass, a sacred traditional composition made up from combinations of the same six notes. And just as countless compositions can be made from only six notes, so too can Dr. Brothers fill an entire book with intelligent insights about those notes and their significance.
Music may be beyond words, but it is not beyond Dr. Lester Brothers. Listen to the music, then listen to Dr. Brothers, then listen to the music again with new ears. You’ll begin to hear and talk about it differently. And suddenly it may not seem beyond words—just a matter of finding the right ones.
Dr. Brothers has published in prestigious scholarly journals and lectured around the U.S. and beyond including Hong Kong, Shanghai, and South Korea. He is a professor emeritus from the University of North Texas, where he taught for thirty-one years before joining the Department of Music at UCM. Under his four-year chairship of the department, UCM achieved the elite status of an All-Steinway School.