Alan Marc Ladne
(1949 - 2011)

Alan Marc Ladne

United States of America
August 21, 1949

New Jersey, United States of America
October 3, 2011

Music and ideas. Reading everything, especially challenging materials in fiction & the arts, philosophy, current events, science & technology, and history.
Alan was a musician, an intellectual, and a great conversationalist.

As a teenager, Alan taught himself to play the electric bass guitar and joined a successful rock band in his home town of Rochester, NY. Wanting to further his career as a musician he attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston. For over three years at Berklee, he studied musicianship and composition. It was there that he discovered, then deepened his love and knowledge of, classical music. He took up the string bass.

After Berklee, Alan auditioned and then played for several orchestras in the Boston area. For six years he played string bass for the Vermont Symphony. His favorite pastime with his wife was attending nearly every concert of the Boston Symphony. During those years he won a scholarship with an opera company to spend a summer playing string bass with an orchestra in Austria. His greatest ambition, however, was to play for a world class symphony. In the 1980s, he moved to New York City so that he would have access to more auditions.

In Boston he had learned to become a medical tech specializing in analyzing 24 hour EKGs. This work allowed him the quiet and time he needed to continue honing his skill as a bassist. In New York he worked as a medical tech (halter monitor) at Columbia U. and New York University. However, it never quite left him with the time or energy required to become a master musician. He auditioned frequently for both major and minor orchestras, and while he was accepted by the Albany Symphony, he never acceded to his dream of joining the New York Philharmonic or its equivalent. This was profoundly disappointing to him. In any case, Alan continued for decades to give private lessons in both string bass and electric bass guitar. He also dabbled in musical composition and arrangement eventually using computer-based programs.

In his late adolescence Alan discovered the works of Ayn Rand and thereafter became a serious student of her ideas, particularly championing her epistemology and ardent defense of the individualist values of the Enlightenment.

Second to music, Alan’s favorite activity was reading and attending lectures.

In New York, Alan took advantage of the abundance of public lectures by recently published authors and scholars of various sorts. Here is an excerpt from correspondence between Alan and author, Robert Bidinotto (kindly provided by Robert, which makes the point:

Alan to Robert (May 2011):

Your blog-post on Christopher Hitchens reminded me of my own experience; maybe I'll add it to the thread of comments: I had just spent the afternoon listening to Ayaan Hirsi Ali talk at a CATO luncheon honoring her in NYC. I had managed to get both of my books signed, bypassing her security guards in the process (they were not happy!).

I walked down to B&N on 17th Street, to a book signing for Hitch's new book, "God Is NOT Great". When I handed him my book to sign, I told him that I had just seen Hirsi Ali speak. "SHE'S MY FRIEND", he shouted! (he really did shout!--startling the people behind me), and he proceeded to tell me about how she had helped him out the night before in his debate with Al Sharpton, how she had asked Sharpton a question which he hadn't understood. I think that if there weren't a line of people, books-in-hand, waiting behind me, he would have gone on at great length.

There are others with vocabularies equal to his--one thinks of William F. Buckley. But I've never been moved by anything Buckley wrote. Hitchens' style is more than just an incredible knowledge of the language, it's also his sense of the rhythms of speech, the suspenseful pauses, the brilliant metaphors and allusions. I've had more than a few fantasy conversations with him, where I tried to win him away from his attachment to Trotskyite Marxism. And I always did well (after all, I had Ayn Rand on my side!), but he always seemed to prevail in the end, winning on points accumulated by his dazzling debating technique. Afterwards, I'd realize that he hadn't actually won--he'd only refused
to concede defeat.


Yes, Alan was an amazing conversationalist, and it was the great pleasure of anyone who knew him to engage with him in this best of all pasttimes.

Speaking of lectures, Alan's favorite venue was Victor Niederhoffer’s monthly Junto where attendees are treated to a free lecture by outstanding Objectivist and libertarian thinkers interwoven with lively discussion.

That's where his spirit lives on!

Happy Junto-ing to all those who loved Alan!

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

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Guest Book (15 entries)
My bass teacher in the early 70's. Taught me so much. And a little Ayn Rand & Nathaniel Branden just to keep things interesting!
David Lichman (Bass Student)
July 25th, 2017
I just did a search for Alan and found that he has moved on. Alan and I were very good friends in Rochester. After graduation from Monroe we lost contact. May he RIP.
Bernie Zysman (good friend)
October 11th, 2013
I miss Alan's friendly face and enjoyable chats at the Junto. I wish he could see the wonderful comments posted here. There is much I didn't know about him. Alan's memory reminds me to express appreciation often to those I value, as advised in the Braley poem:

Do it now
by Berton Braley

If with pleasure you are viewing
any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him,
tell him now;
Don't withhold your approbation
till the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow;
No matter how you shout it
he won't really care about it;
He won't know how many teardrops you have
If you think some praise is due him
now's the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's

More than fame and more than money
is the comment kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
For it gives to life a savor,
and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit to the end;
If he earns your praise - bestow it,
if you like him let him know it,
Let the words of true encouragement be said;
Do not wait till life is over
and he's underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's

Lee Clifford (friend)
November 29th, 2011
I miss Alan every day.
I'm the moderator of the NYC Junto. It's a free monthly group that shares information, discusses current issues and presents speakers on libertarianism, Objectivism and investing. It's hosted by Victor Niederhoffer.
At every Junto I can remember, Alan asked the speaker a question or challenged the speaker's ideas or defended reason or defended Ayn Rand's ideas. And he often talked to newcomers, particularly the pretty young women. He'd find out their areas of interest and suggest readings which would broaden their knowledge of free markets and Ayn Rand.
Since he died I've exchanged some emails with Alan's sister. She'd tried to get him to move to Washington state, where she lives. Part of the reason he wouldn't move from his home in New Jersey was that he enjoyed attending Junto.
One of the things Alan and I shared is an admiration of the intellectual, feminist, atheist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
This Somali-born woman escaped to Holland, to avoid a planned Muslim marriage in Canada.
In Holland she went from being a tribal person to having a full appreciation of the Enlightenment. She became a successful lawyer and member of Parliament.
She's lived in the U.S. since 2006 and is a fellow at The American Enterprise Institute, a think tank. There she researches and writes about the relationship between the West and Islam, women's rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.
You can read some of her essays and speeches at:
I think it was in 2007 that Alan put together a table of eleven of us at a Cato luncheon. We were there to see and hear Ayaan Hirsi Ali give the keynote speech in the Waldorf=Astoria.
I don't know if any of us would have gotten around to doing it on our own, but Alan made it possible for us to opt in with ease.
Several times each year Alan would send me an email directing me to a speech or article by Hirsi Ali. It was with sadness that I signed up for a Google Alert about her activities and writing. Each day when a Hirsi Ali Google Alert arrives I miss Alan again.
In Sept. she married Niall Ferguson and they're expecting a baby boy on Christmas day. Every time I read about the baby or of anything else she's doing, I think of Alan, and want to share it with him.
There were other interests Alan and I shared, among them books and movies. There've been many times when I think of one of them and I miss him anew.
Iris Bell (friend)
November 29th, 2011
Dear friends of Alan,

I was terribly saddened to hear of Alan's death. I met him many years ago, when he was an enthusiastic participant in a philosophical forum held at my home. He struck me immediately as a keenly intelligent, highly well-informed, remarkably talented, and unshakably benevolent man. His restless curiosity spanned the breadth of human knowledge, and his love of the arts was as profound and deep as was his musical talent.

Even though time and circumstances cause our career paths to diverge and our communications to become infrequent over the ensuing decades, I don't believe Alan's character changed in any fundamental way. As Molly has indicated, Alan and I resumed communication a bit over the past year, during some of his hospitalization periods. He was frustrated by the physical problems that had impaired with his musical career and his ability to pursue some of his other interests. But his spirit seemed indomitable, and the quiet, gentle benevolence so evident in him decades past had not diminished.

But I am diminished, now -- diminished by his passing. We all are. And we'll all miss him.

My sincere condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Robert Bidinotto
Robert Bidinotto (friend)
October 17th, 2011
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"Alan,you were a shining light of talent! See you in the afterlife, which you don't believe in! Love, Glo"
Gloria McClements
October 10th, 2011
"Alan was my cousin. His mother was my favorite aunt Jessie. They were both avid musicians and I am sure they are now playing music together. His mother loved him very much as did his sister. I am so sorry for your loss!!!"
Linda Looney Allen
October 6th, 2011
"I will always miss my big brother; he is sadly missed!"
Paula Ladne
October 5th, 2011


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