Composer, conductor and professor at State University College at New Paltz, Poné was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1932, and died in Kingston, NY 1993. He was a prolific and eclectic composer, educated in Europe and the U.S., receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1962. He sought a middle ground between avant-garde techniques and neo-Romantic expressivity. He became a champion of American music and for several years directed the Poné Ensemble for New Music and the Music in the Mountains Festival series in New Paltz. He received the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, and has won prizes from the Enescu Competition, the Trieste International Competition, the International Double Bass composition competition and the Louisville Orchestra International Competition.