skip navigation
Overview for Max Steiner
Max Steiner

Max Steiner



TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here


TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)

Recent DVDs

Uhf: 25th... Sometimes you've got to grab life by the lips and Yank as hard as you can. A lot... more info $10.95was $14.93 Buy Now

Made for Each... Carole Lombard and James Stewart star in a classic comedy-drama about a young... more info $4.95was $8.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Maximilian Raoul Steiner,Max R. Steiner Died: December 28, 1971
Born: May 10, 1888 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Austria Profession: Music ... composer lyricist conductor


Child prodigy and former student of Gustav Mahler who began working professionally as a conductor at the age of 16 and became Hollywood's most prolific film composer, allegedly scoring over 250 films. In the US from 1914, Steiner moved to Hollywood at the beginning of the sound era, working first as a musical director and then a composer, becoming a key innovator in the development of film scoring. His richly orchestrated scores provided the appropriate emotional resonance for films such as "King Kong" (1933), "Gone with the Wind" (1939), "Now Voyager," "Casablanca" (both 1942), "The Big Sleep" (1946) and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1947). Steiner worked on nearly 20 Bette Davis films and was with RKO and Warner Bros. for most of his career.


albatros1 ( 2007-10-16 )

Source: Wikipedia The Internet Encyclopedia

Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner (born May 10, 1888 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary; died December 28, 1971 in Hollywood, California) was an Austrian-American composer of music for theater production shows and films. Steiner's paternal grandfather was Maximilian Steiner (1839-1880), influential manager of Vienna's Theater an der Wien; his father was Gabor Steiner (1858-1944), Viennese impresario and carnival and exposition manager, responsible for the ferris wheel in the Prater that would become the setting for a key scene of the film The Third Man (1949); his godfather was the composer Richard Strauss. Steiner, a child prodigy in composing, received piano instruction from Johannes Brahms and, at the age of fifteen, enrolled at the Imperial Academy of Music (now known as the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna), where he was taught by Gustav Mahler among others. His supernormal musical aptitudes enabled him to complete the school's four-year degree in only one. At the age of 16 Steiner wrote and conducted the operetta The Beautiful Greek Girl. At the opening of World War I, Steiner was working in London. There he was classified an enemy alien but was befriended by the Duke of Westminster and given exit papers. He arrived in New York in December, 1914 with $32 to his name. Steiner worked for 15 years in New York as an arranger, orchestrator and conductor of Broadway operettas and musicals written by Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans and George Gershwin. In 1929, Steiner went to Hollywood to orchestrate the film version of the Florenz Ziegfield show Rio Rita for RKO Radio Pictures. The score for King Kong in 1933 made Steiner's reputation; it was one of the first American films to have an extensive musical score. He conducted the scores for several Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, including Top Hat (1935) and Roberta (1935). He scored hundreds of Hollywood films, and was the most prominent composer in the music department of Warner Brothers Studios, where he wrote the famous fanfare that introduced most of Warners' films from 1937 through the early 1950s. Steiner continued to score Warner Brothers films until the mid 1960s; he usually worked with orchestrator Murray Cutter. His final original film score was Warners' 1964 drama Youngblood Hawke. He also wrote music for several of the television series produced by Warner Brothers. In 1954, RCA Victor asked Steiner to prepare an orchestral suite of music from Gone with the Wind, (his most ambitious score) which Steiner also conducted, for a special LP, which was later issued on CD.s Max Steiner received 26 Academy Award nominations for his work, winning 3 Oscars. He did not win one for what is perhaps his most familiar score, that of Gone with the Wind (1939). Steiner has been called "the father of film music." He is entombed in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. After his death, Charles Gerhardt conducted the National Philharmonic Orchestra in an RCA Victor album of highlights from Steiner's career, titled Now Voyager. Additional selections of Steiner scores were included on other RCA classic film albums during the early 1970s. The quadraphonic recordings were later digitally remastered for Dolby surround sound and released on CD. In 1995, he was inducted posthumously into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Steiner has a star on the Walk of Fame, located at 1551 Vine Street, for his contribution to motion pictures.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute