A Compositional and Orchestral Genius

Some of the greatest orchestral music ever composed in this country has been lost forever or attenuated into a shadow of its former self for inclusion into the motion picture for which it was written. I’m referring of course to the music composed for many of the classic [and not-so-classic] movies especially during the great age of movie-making from approximately 1940-1980.

Relatively few of the original scores have been preserved for… Read more »


Friedhofer & Fantasy

One of the finest orchestrators of Hollywood’s Golden Age was Hugo Friedhofer, who worked on hundreds of films since 1930 as orchestrator, composer, or co-composer, mostly without screen credit. He got his start in Hollywood in 1929, becoming a session player for Fox Studios, and later moved to Warner Bros as an orchestrator, deftly expanding treatments by Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold into full orchestral scores. In 1946, Friedhofer extricated himself from… Read more »


Two of a Mind: Friedhofer and Raksin

Although an abundance of great film music was created during the late ’40s and throughout the 1950s, the art at the time was unfortunately paid much less attention by critics and the general public than it had been during the peak of Hollywood’s Golden Age, or would subsequently be under the recent surge of interest in classic scoring. As a result, some of that period’s most prolific and imaginative composers, while greatly appreciated… Read more »


Hugo Friedhofer: A Profile

Hugo Friedhofer is the only Hollywood composer who has achieved the special kind of immortality conferred by America’s foremost musicological journal the MUSICAL QUARTERLY: he has merited being the subject of scholarly discourse in those august pages. It happened a few years ago when Frederick Sternfeld wrote a lengthy critique of Friedhofer’s score for THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. How, like fourteenth-century masters of the madrigal, eighteenth-century prima donnas, and a… Read more »