Maximilian Raoul Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian-born American music composer for theatre and films, as well as a conductor. He was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and became a full-time professional, either composing, arranging, or conducting, when he was fifteen. Steiner worked in England, then Broadway, and in 1929 he moved to Hollywood, where he became one of the first composers to write music scores for films
Max Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian composer who achieved legendary status as the creator of hundreds of classic American film scores. As a child he was astonishingly musically gifted, composing complex works as a teenager and completing the course of study at Vienna's Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst in only one year, at the age of sixteen. He studied under Gustav Mahler and, before the age of twenty, made his living as a conductor and as composer of works for the theater, the concert hall, and vaudeville.
His musical credentials are without doubt. He was born in Vienna, his grandfather was a musical impresario, his godfather was Richard Strauss, he studied for a time with Gustav Mahler, and in his film music he used Richard Wagner's method based on leitmotifs. He was a prodigious student of music, studying violin, trumpet, organ and piano and completing a 4 year course in a single year
The Letter (1940) Director: William Wyler Producer: Hal Wallis Screenplay: Howard Koch Cinematography: Tony Gaudio Art Direction: Carl Jules Weyl Music: Max Steiner Cast: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Gale Sondergaard, Victor Sen Yung, Cecil Kellaway, Frieda Inescort, Elizabeth Inglis. In one of my plays (back when I was trying to be a professional playwright) I created a housekeeper who was addicted to old movies. She doesn’t actually shoot anyone, but instead points her finger as if it were a pistol and lets go with the same determined intensity as Davis does in the movie.
Biography by Hal Erickson. Father of the modern film score" who composed music for King Kong, Casablanca, and Gone with the Wind. Max Steiner: The RKO Y. ax Steiner. Young Man with a Horn. See Full Discography.
The music of KING KONG, the film score that began the second period in movie music, was almost not written at all. In the early Thirties, RKO Studio was in trouble-RKO was always in trouble! Most of the musical staff had been laid off, and Max Steiner had been asked to assume operation of the department with a drastically reduced budget: the limit for any picture was a three-hour recording session with a maximum of ten musicians