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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » S » Steiner, Max

 Update me on new releases by Steiner

Max Steiner (5/10/1888 - 12/28/1971)

Maximillian Raoul Walter Steiner was born in Vienna on 10 May 1888. After completing, in one year, a four-year course at the Imperial Academy of Music, Steiner’s dramatic instincts guided his musical path toward operetta, and at the age of sixteen he wrote and conducted The Beautiful Greek Girl. Classified an enemy alien while working in London at the outset of the first World War, Steiner was befriended by the Duke of Westminster and was given exit papers to go to America. He arrived in New York in December, 1914, with thirty-two dollars in his pocket.

After spending fifteen years as an arranger, orchestrator and conductor of musical productions written by Herbert, Kern, Youmans and Gershwin, Steiner went to Hollywood to adapt Rio Rita for RKO Radio Pictures. Although in those early years at RKO, the scores mostly consisted of a main title, perhaps a snippet or two during the film, and then the end title, the score that brought Steiner to everyone’s attention was King Kong. As soon as the audience hears that three-note theme—those three massive darkly orchestrated descending chords—it knows it is in for a fantastic experience. In addition to composing scores, such as Morning Glory, the Lost Patrol, The Informer, and well over a hundred others, Steiner also acted as the arranger-conductor on many RKO musicals such as The Gay Divorcee, Roberta, Top Hat and Follow the Fleet.



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