Film composers who venture into the hallowed domain of the concert hall are sometimes greeted with raised eyebrows. Maybe that’s why film-music scholar Jon Burlingame called movie scores a “much-maligned stepchild of 20th-century composition.” Yet for English composer and conductor Benjamin Wallfisch, the differentiation has never been a problem.
It was early 1989, and TV producer Terre Blair called her mother with the exciting news. “I’m engaged”, she announced. “I’m getting married to Marvin Hamlisch!” “Marvin Hamlisch?”, the prospective mother-in-law replied. “You mean the boxer from Las Vegas?” “No, Mom. That’s Marvin Hagler”, Terre laughed. “Marvin Hamlisch is a composer; he writes songs, and he tours”. “Just what this family needs”, said Mom. “An out-of-work songwriter."
Composer Marvin Hamlisch, who earned critical acclaim and popularity for a prolific output of dozens of motion-picture scores and shows including "The Way We Were," "The Sting" and "A Chorus Line," has died in Los Angeles. He was 68.
Tel Aviv University put a stop to a planned concert of music by German composer Richard Wagner.
Why is it I simply cannot condone the presentation and celebration of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” in Los Angeles, arriving with much fanfare this coming spring?
One of the great joys of L.A. jazz, from the mid-1970s to the mid-'80s, was the blossoming of jazz pianist Dave Frishberg into a singer-songwriter of quirky, yet warmly satisfying, material.
Music producer Brooks Arthur turns nostalgic with a new CD of classic Jewish music
"My strongest link to my Jewish background is musical," he said. "I found myself drawn to Russian and Eastern European musical roots."
William Finn, composer, lyricist and creator of the hit musical, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," says his own surname is the result of a misspelling. "When my great-uncle came from Russia, he kept saying he was looking for someone named Fein, so the genius at Ellis Island gave him the name Finn," he breezily explains from his Manhattan apartment.
When Judea Pearl asked composer Steve Reich to create a piece of music that would commemorate the life of his son, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, he knew what he did not want the music to be.
Steve Reich, composer, turns 70 and wonders what all the fuss is about.
The High Holidays provide some of the greatest frissons one can experience in a synagogue. And the music is, indeed, a big part of those rising chills.
John Rauch, the founder of The Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, whose recent death at the age of 75 is a blow to the Los Angeles Jewish cultural scene; Barbara "Bobbi" Asimow died Aug. 22 of cancer at 63.
7 Days in the Arts
7 Days in the Arts
Was Richard Wagner, Hitler's favorite composer, a classical anti-Semite and proto-Nazi or has conventional assumption given him a bad rap?
It'll be nostalgia time at the Ford Amphitheatre when Harold Arlen's greatest tunes come alive again for the concert "The Wonderful Wizard of Song.
The Days of Awe evoke many feelings, but my first thoughts invariably turn to the special music of these days. From the solemn, almost brooding melody of Kol Nidre to the lilting "High Holiday" tune that unifies the music of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there is much in which to delight.
Perhaps because this is the only synagogue music that many Jews hear all year, there are fewer alternative versions of the High Holiday liturgy than of, say, "Lecha Dodi" or "Adon Olam." Still, these albums should help put you in a proper frame of mind.
"I like representing the underdog," said Noreen Green, founder of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony.
While mainly honoring the composers who were persecuted or perished during the Holocaust, "Silenced Voices" will also feature the works of Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler, whose "degenerate" music was banned by the Nazis.
Film composer Elmer Bernstein, who died last week at the age of 82, was born in New York, the son of immigrants from Ukraine and the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Film composer Jerry Goldsmith, died July 21, age 75. The following is excerpted from a 1997 interview with The Jewish Journal.
File under Incongruities, Major: One of the latest luminaries in the world of grand opera is an Orthodox mother of four from Brooklyn.
When Dr. Richard Braun started hanging out with his temple's organist in the late '60s, he probably didn't think he'd become a player in the
evolution of synagogue music.
Nineteenth century composer and notorious anti-Semite Richard Wagner believed that a Jewish composer could never successfully treat serious mythical subject matter in music. But Wagner never anticipated Howard Shore.
The call from Grant Gershon, the conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, stunned Sharon Farber.
Los Angeles largely ignored Arnold Schoenberg, arguably the most influential and controversial composer of the 20th century, when he labored at USC and UCLA during the last 17 years of his life.
As if to make up for the slight, the city's musical and cultural institutions will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Schoenberg's death with an array of concerts, lectures and symposia through next March.
It was meant to be the "not Wagner" concert: Daniel Barenboim, the pride of Israeli music-lovers, conducting his Berlin orchestra, the Staatskapelle, on the last night of this year's Israel Festival. Little did we know.
At age 5, long before he began writing satirical pop songs and Oscar-nominated film soundtracks, Randy Newman trekked down to the sound stage at 20th Century Fox to watch his Uncle Al conduct the studio orchestra. Uncle Alfred was only 5-feet-4, but the Newman family patriarch seemed larger than life as he conducted his intensely dramatic score from "All About Eve."
On the cover of Jack Bielan's new CD, "From the Heart of a Jewish Soul," a pianist plays as his keyboard expands and spirals heavenward. Below, the glow from two yahrtzeit candles joins the keys soaring into the clouds.
Not long before Leonard Bernstein died, in 1988, the ebullient conductor and composer approached pianist Jeffrey Siegel backstage at Lincoln Center. His business was urgent. He wanted to discuss Siegel's "keyboard conversations," concerts with commentary pioneered by Siegel and based on Bernstein's TV performances of the 1950s and 1960s.
The number "three" doesn't play an especially important part in Jewish lore and customs. But the pre-High Holy Day musical rush brought to my desk several trios of related recordings, so it's fitting to deal with them in groups of threes.
You may know Jonathan Elias as the guy who composed the music to Chaplin and 9 1/2 Weeks. Or most of the songs on the Yes album, Union. Or the ditty to the original MTV promo, the one where the astronaut plants the MTV flag on the moon.
"Phantom," "Les Mis," and now... "Masada: The Musical."
"Masada" is based on the mass suicide of 967 Jews who preferred death to enslavement by the Romans who had held their desert mountaintop fortress under siege.
With the release of "Star Trek: Insurrection," composer Jerry Goldsmith has completed his fourth orchestral score for a "Star Trek" feature film. During the past 35 years, the composer has written some of the most memorable film and television music ever. His 100-plus film scores are remarkably diverse, including "Alien," "Chinatown," "Basic Instinct" and last summer's "Mulan."
"Air Force One." "Basic Instinct." "Poltergeist." "Planet of the Apes."
Just a sampling of the more than 175 motion pictures bearing the distinctive imprimatur of master film composer Jerry Goldsmith, (left) who was recently honored by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce. The Regent Beverly Wilshire reception was part of the Chamber's 75th-anniversary Diamond Jubilee.
The list of films for which Elmer Bernstein has written orchestral scores reads like a roll call of cinema's all-time classics: "The Ten Commandments," "The Age of Innocence," "The Magnificent Seven," "Ghostbusters," "To Kill A Mockingbird," "CapeFear," "True Grit," "Animal House," "The Great Escape," "My Left Foot"...just to name a few.
With a week-long celebration to mark theopening of the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna heaped honors on theseminal composer of 20th-century music, while visibly agonizing overthe sins of its Nazi past.
Actor-composer Hershey Felder, 29, has a way with politicians.
Yvonne Sylva Maritza Josephine Kálmán, sixtyish,blond and glamorous, is named for all her father's favorite operettaheroines. So perhaps not surprisingly, she has dedicated much of herlife to seeing that her father's operettas have been performed allover the world.