Leon Stein (1910-2002) was a central figure for music composition in Chicago over most of the twentieth century. Born and raised on Chicago's West Side, Stein learned violin as a youth at the American Conservatory of Music. His academic center, however, was DePaul University, where he earned masters and doctorate degrees and taught from 1931 until his retirement in 1978, serving (among many functions) as Dean of the School of Music from 1966. Stein's diverse interests, including conducting local orchestras and writing on music theory and Jewish music, were balanced by a strong sense of family. A prolific composer, Stein wrote for a wide variety of instrumental combinations.