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Christopher Palmer and Sergio Miceli

(Alexandrovich)

(b St Petersburg, Russia, 16/29 Oct 1901; d Rome, Italy, 7 June 1983). Italian composer and conductor of Russian origin. A grandson of the composer Nikolay Sokolov and a brother of the cellist Massimo Amfitheatrof, he studied with Vītols in St. Petersburg and Křička in Prague, but the greater part of his training was undertaken in Rome, where he studied composition with Respighi at the Conservatorio di S Cecilia (diploma 1924) and the organ at the Pontifical Academy of Sacred Music. He was engaged as a pianist, organist, and chorus assistant at the Augusteo (1924–9), also conducting the orchestra under Molinari's supervision. Thereafter he was artistic director of the Genoa and Trieste radio stations and conductor and manager for Italian radio in Turin; he also conducted elsewhere in Europe. In 1937 he went to the United States as associate conductor of the Minneapolis SO, and in ...

Article

revised by Martin Marks

(b New York, NY, 19 April 1888; d Ukiah, CA, 13 Feb 1959). Composer and conductor. After private music study in Berlin, he conducted for Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera Company, which closed in 1910, and then for productions on Broadway. By 1921 he had become an assistant conductor at the Capitol Theater, where silent films were presented with full orchestral accompaniment; in 1923, in partnership with David Mendoza, he replaced Erno Rapée as principal conductor. In addition to conducting, he composed incidental film music for the Capitol as needed, including 57 pieces published in the Capitol Photoplay Series (New York, 1923–7). From 1925 to 1929 he collaborated with Mendoza in New York on compilation scores for at least 20 MGM films, beginning with The Big Parade. Their collaboration continued with the music for Don Juan (1926), the first feature film score to be presented using the Vitaphone process, which mechanically synchronized the playback of music recorded on wax discs with the projection of the film. In ...

Article

Christopher Palmer

revised by Clifford McCarty, Martin Marks and Nathan Platte

(b New York, NY, 4 April 1922; d Ojai, CA, 18 Aug 2004). Composer and conductor. He was trained as a pianist but also studied composition with Israel Citkowitz, Roger Sessions, Ivan Langstroth and Stefan Wolpe. He attended New York University, then enlisted in the Army Air Corps (1942); he arranged and composed music for some 80 programs for the Armed Forces Radio Service and was a concert pianist for three years after his discharge. Norman Corwin then engaged him to score radio drama, which led to composition for films; Bernstein's third film, Sudden Fear (1952), attracted favorable attention. In 1955, despite suffering career difficulties due to McCarthyism (see Marmorstein), he rose to sudden prominence with his score for The Man with the Golden Arm. In this, as in several scores that followed (e.g. Walk on the Wild Side, 1962), he effectively blended jazz into a modern symphonic idiom to suit gritty stories and contemporary settings. He subsequently became known for his rousing scores for westerns and action films (notably ...

Article

Daniel Goldmark

(b Minneapolis, MN, 28 March, 1941). Composer for television, conductor, arranger, and orchestrator. Clausen grew up in Jamestown, ND, where he took up French horn and piano, as well as singing in school choirs. He attended North Dakota State University studying mechanical engineering before a summer in New York City, before being exposed to first-run Broadway musicals and other professional musical settings convinced him he should pursue music instead. He took up string bass and baritone sax and graduated with a degree in music in 1963, followed by a masters degree at Berklee College of Music.

After moving to southern California, his first high-profile professional gig was as an arranger for the second season of The Donny and Marie Show, and eventually conductor and music director for the show’s third season. He moved away from variety and into scripted drama with his work on Moonlighting; during this time he also scored the comedy series ...

Article

Ryan Dohoney

(b Concord, NH, March 7, 1940; d Cheektowaga, NY, April 9, 2016). American filmmaker, composer, violinist, and media artist. He began playing violin in his youth and studied with Ronald Knudsen. He became fascinated with the physics of sounds and interested in intonation, the harmonic series, long-held tones, and the act of close listening. He attended Harvard University and received an AB in mathematics in 1962. While at Harvard he met Henry Flynt and Christian George Wolff and became involved with the post-Cagean avant garde based in New York. In 1959 Conrad met La Monte Young, who became a frequent collaborator in the mid-1960s. Conrad credited an encounter with the music of 17th-century composer and violinist Heinrich Ignaz Biber in the late 1950s with a profound transformation of his musical thinking, drawing his attention to variable tunings and the role of timbre as an aesthetic concern. Conrad’s exposure to the music of Ali Akbar Khan also heightened his interest in drones as a basis for musical performance....

Article

Kate Daubney

(b New York, NY, 21 Nov 1896; d Beverly Hills, CA, 24 May 1960). Composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor. He studied the piano with Maurice Gould and Jeanne Franco and composition and orchestration with Frank Saddler. During the 1920s he worked as an arranger for Broadway musicals, including The Girlfriend, Manhattan Mary, and the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1921. He also wrote songs for the 1922 musical Glory. He established the De Packh Ensemble, which he conducted between 1928 and 1931, then in 1933 he went to Hollywood as an arranger and orchestrator. He worked first for MGM and smaller studios on films such as The Dancing Lady (1933) and Rip Tide (1934). He was also one of the team of five principal orchestrators who assisted composer Max Steiner with Gone with the Wind (1939), a score that exemplifies the richness of orchestral timbre and complexity of arrangement that were hallmarks of film music of the time. In the early 1940s he moved to Twentieth Century Fox, where he worked on a number of Betty Grable musicals, including ...

Article

George J. Ferencz

(b Hartford, CT, 3 Aug 1906; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 Sept 1972). Conductor, composer, arranger, and film producer. He attended Loyola College, later studying with Joseph Schillinger and Ernst Toch. Beginning in 1927, he conducted Broadway musicals by several of its leading songwriters, including Schwartz (Flying Colors, 1932), Romberg (May Wine, 1935), Arlen (Hooray for What?, 1937), Porter (Leave it to Me, 1938), Kern (Very Warm for May, 1939), and Berlin (Louisiana Purchase, 1940). He also appeared frequently as a network radio conductor during the 1930s. He joined Paramount in 1941 and worked on several dozen films, variously as composer, arranger, conductor, or musical director, including Holiday Inn (1942), Lady in the Dark (1944), and Blue Skies (1946). He also served as producer for the lavish Paramount musicals White Christmas...

Article

Daniele Buccio

(b New York, NY, Aug 5, 1953). American composer and media artist. He studied film and video art at the State University of New York at Buffalo (MA 1976) and composition with Pauline Oliveros (1974), La Monte Young (1974–6), and finally alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University (MA 1982). He has directed and composed music for a number of his own ensembles, including the Orchestra of Excited Strings, the first iteration of which formed in 1979. Among the most rock-oriented of minimalist composers, he has experimented with performance techniques, explored original systems of tuning, and modified or created new instruments to achieve specific timbral effects. In 1984 he moved to Berlin, where he became composer-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien. Since arriving in Europe he has expanded his creative activities: staging multi-day performances (The Memory Projects, 1995–2001); creating installations such as From the Archives...

Article

David Ades

(Joseph)

(b Toronto, ON, 24 July 1917; d Guernsey, 23 April 2005). Canadian arranger, composer, and conductor. He began his career as a trumpet player in dance bands and later worked for Percy Faith's CBC Orchestra. By 1942 he had composed two symphonies, and in 1944 he came to Britain as conductor of the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force, alongside Glenn Miller and George Melachrino fronting the US and British bands. He took his army discharge in Britain, where Decca contracted him to work with their leading singers such as Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields; the BBC granted him a radio series with his own orchestra. He began composing for the cinema, and early successes out of some 40 scores included Spring in Park Lane, Maytime in Mayfair, and Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. The emergence of LPs provided orchestra leaders such as Farnon the opportunity to develop their arranging and composing talents more fully, and his Decca albums from the 1950s have become highly prized by admirers, especially fellow musicians in the United States. Many have acknowledged his influence, including John Williams, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, and Johnny Mandel. Farnon's light orchestral cameos are among the finest to have been written since World War II, notably ...

Article

Martin Marks

[Jerrald]

(b Los Angeles, CA, 10 Feb 1929; d Beverly Hills, CA, 21 July 2004). Composer and conductor. In the 1940s he studied the piano with Jakob Gimpel and theory and composition with Castelnuovo-Tedesco; he also attended Los Angeles City College, as well as Rózsa’s classes at the University of Southern California. In the 1950s he worked primarily for CBS, composing and conducting music first for radio, then for television. His television credits include numerous scores for such live dramatic programs as Climax! and Playhouse 90, as well as for episodes of long-running series such as Gunsmoke and The Twilight Zone. Although he continued to write for television with some frequency during the 1960s and 70s, after 1962 he mostly scored feature films. Over four decades he completed scores for more than 160 films and collaborated repeatedly with directors including Schaffner, Ridley Scott, Dante, Verhoeven and Schepisi. He worked closely with two outstanding orchestrators, Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage....

Article

revised by Fred Steiner

(b Salt Lake City, UT, 26 March 1907; d Long Beach, CA, 10 Dec 1969). Composer and conductor. He studied music at the University of Utah and took private piano and organ lessons with the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, J. Spencer Cornwall. After working for radio stations in his native city, he moved to California (1928), where he arranged music and conducted for radio stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. From 1932 to 1941 he worked for Walt Disney, writing for the Silly Symphony series and many other short films. He also composed for Disney's first two animated feature films: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio; for the latter he won Academy Awards for best original score and best song (“When you Wish upon a Star”). After leaving Disney he worked at various studios (mainly RKO and 20th Century-Fox), composing, conducting, and arranging for more than 120 feature films and several television programs. Although sometimes typecast as a scorer of comedies, Harline was a skillful, imaginative, and often original craftsman, whose best work reveals a genuine dramatic flair. Two of his Disney scores, ...

Article

James Wierzbicki

(Warren)

(b Cambridge, MA, 27 March 1920). Conductor, arranger, harmonica player, and composer. He began his professional career in 1938 as a performer and arranger with the Borrah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals. His arrangements for this ensemble brought him to the attention of commercial musicians, and within a few years he was working as an orchestrator for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios on musical films that included Girl Crazy, Meet me in St. Louis, and As Thousands Cheer. After returning to Boston, where he was music director of the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra in the late 1940s, Hayman was named principal arranger for the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1950. In the decades that followed he served as music director for numerous leading entertainers, including Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, Red Skelton, Johnny Carson, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Olivia Newton-John, and Bobby Vinton. His tune “Ruby” (from the soundtrack for the film Ruby Gentry [1953...

Article

Kate Daubney

[Leonard](George)

(b New York, NY, 13 Feb 1908; d Los Angeles, CA, 24 April 1971). Musical director, conductor, and arranger. He began his career as a pianist, playing and arranging for jazz artists, in particular for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in the late 1920s. His arrangements of classic songs for Whiteman, such as “Nobody's Sweetheart,” are considered among the finest of their era, blending jazz instruments with those of the traditional orchestra. His later arrangement of “Star Dust” provided a hit in the early 1940s for clarinetist Artie Shaw. In 1940 he became musical director for Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios before moving to Twentieth Century-Fox in 1953. He was involved in arranging scores for a number of films and musicals, including The Harvey Girls (1945) and The Pirate (1948); the arrangements reflect the complexity achieved in his work for Whiteman, although film music had only recently incorporated jazz into its idioms. He was nominated for Academy Awards for his work on several notable musicals, including ...

Article

Kate Daubney

(b Haverstraw, NY, 25 Aug 1908; d Los Angeles, CA, 3 Feb 1980). Musical director, orchestrator, and conductor. His association with cinema music began as a young man with employment as a pianist and organist for a silent movie theater in Mechanicsville, New York. He became a protégé of Leo Forbstein, the first musical director at Warner Bros.’ studios, after helping with the scoring of the first sound film, The Jazz Singer (1927). He effectively served his apprenticeship with Warner Bros., rising through the music department as a performer and orchestrator-arranger. During this period he orchestrated for Max Steiner on Daughters Courageous (1939). When Forbstein retired in 1947, Heindorf succeeded him, remaining as head of the department until 1959, although he continued to conduct and arrange scores. He was nominated for 18 Academy Awards between 1942 and 1968 and received three: for the musical direction on ...

Article

David Cooper

(b New York, NY, 29 June 1911; d Los Angeles, CA, 24 Dec 1975). Composer and conductor. In 1929, while still a student at DeWitt Clinton High School, he enrolled for classes in composition and conducting at New York University. The subsequent year he followed his conducting teacher Albert Stoessel to the Juilliard School of Music, where he was taught composition by the Dutch émigré Bernard Wagenaar. He left the Juilliard School after less than two years, apparently because he found the institution too conservative, and returned informally to New York University during the academic year 1932–3 to attend a course in composition and orchestration given by Percy Grainger. Grainger's eclectic approach revealed to Herrmann the range and diversity of the musical materials available to the contemporary composer. Early in 1933 he formed the New Chamber Orchestra from a group of unemployed musicians as a vehicle for his talents as both conductor and composer. The orchestra's repertory brought together contemporary compositions (including those of Charles Ives, with whom Herrmann formed a lasting friendship) and works by English composers such as Henry Purcell and Edward Elgar, symptomatic of his anglophile tendencies....

Article

Durrell Bowman

(Roy)

(b Los Angeles, 14 Aug 1953; d Santa Barbara, CA, 22 June 2015). American film composer and conductor. The son of the Bohemian American production designer Harry Horner, James Horner studied at the RCM, where his teachers included György Ligeti. He moved to California in the early 1970s and attended the University of the Pacific and then USC. He then earned the master’s degree in composition and music theory at UCLA, where he also taught music theory and worked on a doctorate; his professors included Paul Chihara. In 1978 Horner scored a series of films for the American Film Institute (including The Watcher), and in 1979 he began scoring feature-length films, including work for B-movie producer Roger Corman.

Horner often incorporates electronic elements, choral or solo vocal music (including wordless female voices), and Celtic and other ‘world music’ elements. He has scored a large number of science fiction and action films, and also many dramas and children’s films, totaling nearly one hundred feature film scores as of ...

Article

Donald A. Henriques

(b Mazatlán, Mexico, Nov 18, 1917; d Mérida, Mexico, April 15, 1957). Mexican film actor and singer. Pedro Infante was the third of nine children born into a working-class family. His formative years were spent in Guamúchil, Sinaloa, where his father was a musician and music teacher. In his teen years, Infante apprenticed in carpentry and even made his own guitar. He played violin, guitar, and percussion in his father’s orchestra and, by 1937, was leading his own group.

In the hopes of furthering his musical career, Pedro Infante moved to Mexico City in 1939. His singing debut on Radio XEB in 1940 was soon followed by appearances on Radio XEW. Infante’s film career coincided with the era identified as the “golden age” of Mexican film. His first significant roles were in La feria de las flores and Jesusita en Chihuahua, both released in 1942. His lead charro...

Article

Mark Brill

(b Paris, France, 24 Feb 1932). French composer, pianist, and arranger, son of the composer Raymond Legrand (b 1908) and brother of the singer Christiane Legrand (b 1930). A musical prodigy he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 11. He attended from 1943 to 1950, studied conducting with Nadia Boulanger and harmony with Henri Chaland, and graduated as a first-prize winner in composition. A Dizzy Gillespie concert in Paris in 1947 awakened his passion for jazz. In the 1950s he became a popular bandleader, singer, and songwriter, and wrote and conducted ballets for Roland Petit. In 1954 he became the bandleader and conductor for Maurice Chevalier and traveled with him to New York. That same year he recorded the album I Love Paris. In the late 1950s his arrangements for the album Legrand Jazz (1958, Col.) featured the playing of ...

Article

Donald A. Henriques

(Alberto )

(b Guanajuato, Mexico, Nov 30, 1911; d Los Angeles, CA, Dec 5, 1953). Mexican film actor and singer. Jorge Negrete was the second of five children born into an upper-class military family. In 1931 he debuted on Radio XETR singing operatic arias and romantic ballads. During this time Negrete also studied voice with José Pierson, a respected vocal coach in Mexico City. In 1936, at the request of Emilio Azcárraga, owner of Radio XEW, Negrete moved to New York City to costar on an NBC radio show entitled The Mexican Caballeros. Although his movie career began in 1937, it was the 1941 film ¡Ay, Jaliscono te rajes! (Hey Jalisco…Don’t Give Up) that made Negrete a star. The singing charro (cowboy) role as played by Negrete displayed the character qualities of what would become the model for the singing charro of the 1940s and 1950s—a brave, God-fearing, macho figure with “right” on his side....

Article

Christopher Palmer, Fred Steiner and Jessica Getman

(b New Haven, CT, 17 March 1901; d Los Angeles, CA, 17 Feb 1970). Composer and conductor. He was a piano prodigy, making his first public appearance at the age of eight. He studied in New York with Rubin Goldmark and George Wedge. In 1914 he was offered a piano scholarship by Sigismond Stojowski for a place at the von Ende School of Music, New York. Family poverty compelled him to abandon a concert career while still young; instead, he played in Broadway theaters and on vaudeville circuits. He studied conducting with William Daly and was the youngest conductor to date to appear on Broadway. As well as serving as music director for the George White Scandals (1920) and for the Greenwich Village Follies (1922–5), he conducted shows by George and Ira Gershwin, Otto Harbach, and Rodgers and Hart. In 1930 Newman went to Hollywood, where he was soon appointed music director at United Artists. He worked primarily in film musicals but gradually became more interested in traditional Hollywood scoring, especially after the success of his score for ...