Chris Ledesma, who served as music editor on The Simpsons for 33 seasons, has died at the age of 64.
Ledesma had worked on the animated sitcom since its series premiere in 1989 up until his departure in 2022 due to health issues. All told, Ledesma contributed to 735 episodes of The Simpsons as well as to multiple shorts and other specials. He documented much of his work on a blog called Simpsons Music 500.
In a 2013 video profile from SAE Institute USA, Ledesma explained his role on The Simpsons. Primary working in conjunction with longtime composer Alf Clausen, Ledesma said, “We sit down and plot out where all the music is going to go in every scene, and what the music’s motivation is. The composer dreams up the music, and I’m the technical guy who makes sure it fits in the picture the way we discuss, the concerns of the producers were addressed… and when we compile the final soundtrack with the dialogue and sound effects, I represent the composer making sure the music fits properly.”
The Simpsons paid tribute to Ledesma with a tribute card at the end of Sunday’s episode, as fan site In the News points out.
Several of Ledesma’s former colleagues further paid tribute to him on Twitter. “Chris Ledesma was one of the kindest, mega-talented people working on a crew full of kind, mega-talented people,” said former Simpsons producer and writer Josh Weinstein.
Jake Schaefer, who succeeded Ledesma as the show’s music editor, tweeted, “Chris Ledesma’s passion for music and for The Simpsons was an inspiration. I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with him this year. He was a great mentor and a genuine person. My heart goes out to his family.”