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Christopher Palmer and Randall D. Larson

[Bronislau]

(b Warsaw, Poland, 5 Feb 1902; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 April 1983). Composer of Polish birth. He was educated at the Warsaw Conservatory and was active as composer and pianist in Warsaw, Berlin, Vienna, London, and Paris before settling in Hollywood and joining the staff of MGM in 1940. He was one of a number of versatile musicians of European origin and orientation who helped to create Hollywood music. He composed a number of popular songs besides his articulate and closely knit film scores. His best work dates from the 1960s: Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Lord Jim (1965) reveal a pronounced flair for musical depiction of the sea and tropical landscapes. Kaper's theme from Green Dolphin Street (1947) became popularized when recorded in a jazz idiom by Miles Davis; his theme for Invitation (1952) was also widely recorded. Kaper's dramatic score for the science fiction film ...

Article

Claire Levy

(b Yambol, 30 March 1933; d Plovdiv, 12 April 2014). Bulgarian composer and music educator, famous for his work in different genres but mostly for his distinctive contribution to the field of film music. He graduated from the Bulgarian State Conservatory in 1961 under Pancho Vladigerov (composition) and Assen Dimitrov (conducting). Author of the music for over 120 cartoons and more than 40 feature films, Karadimchev also wrote songs for rock bands, marked usually by laconic yet highly attractive melodic lines. His lyrical Byala tishina (‘White Silence’), performed by Georgi Minchev and The Shturtzite, made a particular breakthrough for Bulgarian rock music on the national level by winning the first prize at The Golden Orpheus Pop Music Festival in 1967. And his close collaboration with The Tangra in the early 1980s developed ‘the melodic style of rock’ in songs such as Bogatstvo (‘Fortune’) and Nashiat grad (‘Our Town’). Some of his title songs written for movies such as the ...

Article

Gerald Bordman

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Nov 16, 1889; d New York, NY, June 2, 1961). American librettist and director. He first worked as a journalist, serving for a time as head of the drama desk at the New York Times, but resigned in order to write his own plays. His first libretto, produced in collaboration with Marc Connelly, was for Helen of Troy, New York (1923; music by B. Kalmar and H. Ruby) and established his reputation for witty and satirical writing. He then created two important shows for the Marx Brothers, The Cocoanuts (1925; I. Berlin) and, with Morrie Ryskind, Animal Crackers (1928; Kalmar and Ruby), and also collaborated with Ryskind on the libretto for the highly successful Of Thee I Sing (1931; G. Gershwin), the first musical to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for drama, and Let ’Em Eat Cake (1933; Gershwin). Kaufman contributed both libretto and lyrics for ...

Article

(b Milwaukee, WI, 5 April 1899; d Baden-Baden, Germany, 3 Jan 1980). German composer of American birth, son of Hugo Kaun. Largely self-taught as a composer, he was tutored by his father, and studied violin and piano while attending Gymnasium in Berlin. During World War I he served in the German army, playing clarinet in a military band. After the war he arranged and conducted for RCA Victor in Berlin for several years. In 1924 he moved to the United States, where he worked as a music copyist in New York, conducted at the Alhambra Theater, Milwaukee (1924), and taught at the Eastman School of Music (1925–8). Recognized particularly for his orchestrations, he arranged music from Richard Wagner's music dramas for the New York release of Fritz Lang's film Siegfried and orchestrated Howard Hanson's Legend of Beowulf and Organ Concerto.

In 1930 Kaun was invited to Hollywood by Heinz Roemheld, music director of Universal Studios. Over the following decade he worked for both Warner Bros. and Paramount, composing music for over 170 films; his first assignments included the first full-length score for a sound film (...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Plzeň, 19 April 1940). Czech artist. He studied at the Pedagogical Faculty, Preliminary Art School, Academy of Fine Arts, and Mathematical Faculty of Charles University, none of which he finished. His career began in the 1960s and has included painting, happenings, performances, musical compositions, collages, and objects. Between 1999 and 2011, he was director at the National Gallery in Prague, and in 1990 started leading an intermedia class at the Academy of Visual Arts. He is the recipient of a number of grants and prizes, including DAAD, Schloss Bleckede, Design Werkstatt, and Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Best known as a controversial artist working in a variety of disciplines, Knížák has engaged with music in many ways throughout his career. In his early teens, he began composing popular songs under the influence of Jaroslav Ježek and the popular music of the day. In 1965 he began making a series titled ‘Destroyed Music’, in which he scratched, broke, painted over, or burnt vinyl records, and then played them back, the final artifact being either a new record or an installation. He also applied this method to written music, creating a number of diverse collages using both his own and other people’s music, and making use of photographs and press clippings in addition to printed and handwritten scores....

Article

Brendan G. Carroll

(b Brno, Moravia [now Czech Republic], 29 May 1897; d Hollywood, CA, 29 Nov 1957). Austrian composer. The second son of the eminent music critic Julius Korngold (1860–1945), he was a remarkable child prodigy composer. In 1906 he played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler, who pronounced him a genius and recommended that he be sent to Zemlinsky for tuition. At age 11 he composed the ballet Der Schneemann, a sensation when it was first performed at the Vienna Court Opera (1910); he followed this with a Piano Trio and a Piano Sonata in E that so impressed Artur Schnabel that he championed the work all over Europe. Richard Strauss remarked: “One's first reaction that these compositions are by a child are those of awe and concern that so precocious a genius should follow its normal development. … This assurance of style, this mastery of form, this characteristic expressiveness, this bold harmony, are truly astonishing!” Giacomo Puccini, Jean Sibelius, Bruno Walter, Arthur Nikisch, Engelbert Humperdinck, Karl Goldmark, and many others were similarly impressed....

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Olomouc, 3 May 1967). Czech violinist. Raised in a musical family, she studied at the People’s School of Art in Opava with Marcela Kuvíková, then at the Ostrava Conservatory with Vítězslav Kuzník and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with the professors Jiří Vlach, Jiří Novák, and Ivan Štraus. She also took part in master classes with Josef Gingold in Greensboro, NC and with Wolfgang Marschner in Weimar. In 1990 she received a scholarship to the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland, where she studied with Alberto Lysy.

In 1997, she became a laureate of the Prague Spring International Violin Competition. She has also received the Gideon Klein Prize, the Bärenreiter Prize, the Supraphon Prize, the Prize of the City of Prague, and the Prague Spring Foundation Prize. In 2005 she represented the Czech Republic at the World Exhibition in Aichi, Japan, together with the Prague Philharmonic....

Article

Dominic McHugh

[Levy ]

(b New York, NY, Feb 2, 1912; d New York, NY, Jan 5, 1997). American musical theater and film composer. After studying the piano as a child, Lane started to write for his school band. At age 14, he was commissioned to compose for an unproduced version of the off-Broadway revue, Greenwich Village Follies. While still in his teens, he joined the Remick Music Company as a song plugger and was encouraged by the Gershwins. He wrote songs with Howard Dietz for the revue Three’s a Crowd (1930), and one with Harold Adamson for The Third Little Show (1931). He then joined forces with Adamson to compose the score for Earl Carroll’s Vanities of 1931.

With the onset of the Great Depression, Lane moved to Hollywood and composed for films, often with Adamson. With Frank Loesser he wrote “The lady’s in love with you” (...

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

Paul R. Laird

[Mitchnick, Irwin ]

(b Brooklyn, NY, Jan 30, 1928). American composer, producer, and director. After earning a BA and MA from the Yale School, where he studied with paul Hindemith , he worked as a jazz musician and from 1954 wrote music for television and commercial jingles, such as “Nobody doesn’t Like Sara Lee.” In 1957 Leigh formed the company Music Makers as a focus for these efforts. He wrote incidental music for two plays, Too Good to be True (1963) and Never Live over a Pretzel Factory (1964), and then composed with the lyricist Joe Darion the score for the Broadway hit Man of La Mancha (1965). Their Tony Award-winning score includes spirited “Spanish” gestures and songs that effectively describe characters and situations. The show itself, which won a Tony Award for Best Musical, ran 2328 performances and has remained popular. Leigh also wrote the scores for ...