Composer/flutist/pianist Lee Gannon died on September 2, 1996 of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. His output included songs, solos pieces, chamber music, and orchestral compositions. A number of his pieces incorporated his struggle with HIV and AIDS, such as his solo flute piece, Derelict. The title of that work derived from it’s representation of the HIV virus as a seven-note row which was broken apart (rendered "derelict") by ethereal music that represented Mr. Gannon.
He received commissions from the Nashville Symphony, the ASCAP Commissioning Program and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, among others. In recent seasons his works had been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Downtown Music Productions (New York) and Positive Music (New York). As an instrumentalist he was a phenomenally talented flutist, recorder player and pianist. His ongoing health problems prevented his pursuing flute playing for the past several years.
Lee Gannon attended the Eastman School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in 1988 where he studied composition with Samuel Adler, Claude Baker, Robert Morris and Joseph Schwantner. In 1990, he completed a Masters of Music degree in composition at the University of Texas, studying composition with Dan Welcher and flute with Karl Kraber. His awards and honors included the Charles Ives Prize of the Academy of Arts and Letters, the Sigma Alpha Iota Composition Award (twice), and the Kent Kennon Scholarship. In 1994, Lee Gannon was an associate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where he worked with Karel Husa.