Alfred Newman

Born 17 March 1901. Died 17 February 1970.


Alfred Newman (March 17, 1901 – February 17, 1970) was an American composer, arranger, and conductor of film music, and was also the head of a family of major Hollywood film composers, among them his brothers Emil and Lionel, his children David, Thomas and Maria, and his nephew Randy.

In a career which spanned over forty years, Newman composed music for over 200 films. He was one of the most respected film score composers of his time, and is today regarded as one of the greatest musicians ever to work in film. Along with composers Max Steiner and Dimitri Tiomkin, Newman is considered one of the "three godfathers of film music," and played a major part in creating the tradition of composing original music for films.

Newman also conducted the music for many film adaptations of Broadway musicals, as well as many original Hollywood musicals. He won Oscars for adapting the scores of such noted musicals as The King and I (1956), Camelot (1967), and Call Me Madam (1953), as well as for adapting the songs in such Hollywood musicals as the Betty Grable vehicle Mother Wore Tights (1947). He conducted the orchestra for all of the film adaptations of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals except for Oklahoma! (1955), The Sound of Music (1965), and the animated cartoon version of The King and I (1999), made long after his death. He also conducted the orchestra for the only musical that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote specifically for film, State Fair (1945), and its 1962 remake. (However, the television remake of South Pacific (2001) was not made until long after Newman's death.)

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