Leon Stein, 91, a composer, conductor and educator who was an integral part of the musical life of his native Chicago for half a century, died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Laguna Woods.
Stein composed more than 100 published works, including four symphonies, two one-act operas, five string quartets and numerous solo and chamber works. His music has been performed by more than 90 orchestras, including those of Chicago, Boston, Detroit and Cincinnati. His quartets were recorded by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra String Quartet.
Born in Chicago in 1910, Stein studied at DePaul University, where he taught for 47 years, ultimately serving as professor of music and dean of the School of Music.
He also was conductor of the DePaul University Orchestra (1965-77), director of the Community Symphony of Chicago (1945-65), director of the City Symphony of Chicago (1964-84), and music director of the Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie (1956-66).