Max Steiner

Austrian-born American composer (1888–1971) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Maximilian Raoul Steiner[lower-alpha 1] (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian composer and conductor who emigrated to America and became one of Hollywood's greatest musical composers.

Quick facts: Max Steiner, Born, Died, Nationality, Occupat...
Max Steiner
Greyscale photograph of Max Steiner with a piano
Steiner composing
Maximilian Raoul Steiner

(1888-05-10)May 10, 1888
Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria)
DiedDecember 28, 1971(1971-12-28) (aged 83)
NationalityAmerican (naturalized citizen 1920)
Occupation(s)Composer, arranger, conductor
Years active1907–1965
  • Beatrice Steiner (m. 1912–?)
  • Aubrey Steiner
    (m. 1927; div. 1933)
  • Louise Klos
    (m. 1936; div. 1946)
  • Leonette "Lee" Steiner
    (m. 19471971)

Steiner was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and became a full-time professional, proficient at composing, arranging, and conducting, by the time he was fifteen. Threatened with internment in England during World War I, he fled to Broadway; and in 1929 he moved to Hollywood, where he became one of the first composers to write music scores for films. He is often referred to as "the father of film music", as Steiner played a major part in creating the tradition of writing music for films, along with composers Dimitri Tiomkin, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, and Miklós Rózsa.

Steiner composed over 300 film scores with RKO Pictures and Warner Bros., and was nominated for 24 Academy Awards, winning three: The Informer (1935); Now, Voyager (1942); and Since You Went Away (1944). Besides his Oscar-winning scores, some of Steiner's popular works include King Kong (1933), Little Women (1933), Jezebel (1938), and Casablanca (1942), though he did not compose its love theme, "As Time Goes By". In addition, Steiner scored The Searchers (1956), A Summer Place (1959), and Gone with the Wind (1939), which ranked second on the AFI's list of best American film scores, and is the film score for which he is best known.

He was also the first recipient of the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, which he won for his score for Life with Father. Steiner was a frequent collaborator with some of the best known film directors in history, including Michael Curtiz, John Ford, and William Wyler, and scored many of the films with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Fred Astaire. Many of his film scores are available as separate soundtrack recordings.

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