The man who introduced American Indian themes to Western concert music has died in Santa Fe at the age of 75. Famed composer, author and music educator Louis W. Ballard died at his Old Santa Fe Trail home early Friday morning after a five-year battle with cancer.
A member of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, Ballard was renowned for melding Native melodies, rhythms and instruments with classic Western orchestral music. His works were not as widely known in this country as those of other American composers, though they were much respected and often played in Europe. Once heard, they were remembered and appreciated.