In Memoriam: Larry Polansky

By Gaby Messino

Composer, theorist, and professor emeritus Larry Polansky passed away on May 9, 2024 at age 69. Following a successful career in the music industry, Polansky (‘77, math and music) returned to the UC Santa Cruz campus in 2013 to join the Music Department faculty. He retired in 2019, but his years here left a lasting impact on his colleagues, students, and campus as a whole.

Born in 1954, Polansky grew up in New York along with his brother Steven, a noted author. At age 10, he picked up the guitar and never put it down. He enrolled at the New College in Sarasota, Florida, before transferring to UC Santa Cruz, with a dual major in math and music. 

Polansky was a founding member and co-director of Frog Peak Music, an artist-run organization devoted to publishing and producing experimental and unusual works. He helped create HMSL, a programming language from the 80s designed for making music. He also held the title of professor emeritus at Dartmouth University.

Continue reading at UC Santa Cruz site...


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