Ernest Gold (composer)

Last updated
Ernest Gold
Born
Ernst Sigmund Goldner

(1921-07-13)July 13, 1921
Vienna, Austria
DiedMarch 17, 1999(1999-03-17) (aged 77)
OccupationComposer
Spouse(s)
Marni Nixon
(m. 1950;div. 1969)

Jan Keller(m. 1975)
Children3, including Andrew Gold

Ernst Sigmund Goldner (July 13, 1921 – March 17, 1999), known professionally as Ernest Gold, was an Austrian-born American composer. He is most noted for his work on the film Exodus produced in 1960.

Contents

Early life

Gold was born in 1921 in Vienna, the son of Elisabeth (Stransky) and Gustav Goldner. [1] [2] Gold came from a musical family. His father played the violin, and his mother sang. [3] His father also studied under Richard Heuberger. [4] Gold said that he learned to read music before he had learned to read words. [4] He studied the violin and the piano when he was only 6 years old and began composing music at 8. By age 13, he had written an entire opera. [1] As a child, he said he wanted to go to Hollywood and be a composer. [5] :24 Gold would go to movie theaters as a teenager not only to watch the films but also to listen to the musical score. Among prominent film composers of the time he admired Max Steiner. [4] In 1938, Gold attended the Viennese Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst, but he moved to the U.S. after the Anschluss of Austria, because of the family's Jewish heritage. [1] In the United States, Gold earned money by working as an accompanist and writing popular songs in New York City. He also studied with Otto Cesana and Leon Barzin at the National Orchestra Association. [4]

Career

NBC Orchestra performed Gold's first symphony in 1939, only a year after he moved to the United States. [1] In 1941, he composed a symphony that was later played at Carnegie Hall in 1945. [4] Gold moved to Hollywood in the same year to work with Columbia Pictures, his first significant role being the score for the melodrama Girl of the Limberlost (1945). After this opportunity, Gold wrote scores for other minor films. [1] For the next ten years, he continued to work on B movies, mainly orchestrating and arranging music for western movies and melodramas. [3]

He was asked by Stanley Kramer to orchestrate Not as a Stranger (1955). The music for the film was written by George Antheil. This production opened the door for Gold to work with other scores written by Antheil and to orchestrate more of Kramer's films. [1] Gold worked on almost every film Kramer made, including A Child Is Waiting and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World . [3]

Gold produced his first original film score in 1958 for Too Much, Too Soon. His big break came in 1959, when he was asked to score On the Beach after Antheil became ill and he recommended Gold for the job. [4]

Gold is most widely recognized for composing the score of Exodus (1960). [1] He was contracted by Otto Preminger and, atypically, was able to watch the filming of the movie. [3] Gold spent time in Israel to write the score. [5] :26

In 1968, Gold wrote a Broadway musical [1] called I'm Solomon . [6] He also wrote music for television. [3] In his later life, Gold was the musical director of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra. He also founded the Los Angeles Senior Citizens Orchestra. [1]

His concert works include a piano concerto, a string quartet, and a piano sonata. Ernest Gold's "Fight for Survival" from Exodus was sampled by Moby in his song Porcelain. [7]

Awards

Gold's contributions were recognized with Academy Award nominations and Golden Globe nominations. He won a Golden Globe in 1960 for Best Motion Picture Score for 1959's On the Beach. This film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture that same year. In 1960, Gold's Exodus was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Original Score category. [8] The film won an Academy Award for Best Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and a Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album. [9] For his contributions, Gold had his name engraved in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was the first composer to receive this honor. [10]

Personal life

Gold was married to singer and actress Marni Nixon from 19501969. They had three children: musician Andrew Gold (composer of "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend"), Martha Gold Carr, and Melanie Gold. [8] [11] Gold's marriage after Nixon [12] :62 was to Jan Keller Gold (from 1975 until his death). [13]

Ernest Gold died on March 17, 1999, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 77 from complications following a stroke. [1] [14]

Selected filmography

Related Research Articles

Max Steiner American composer

Maximilian Raoul Steiner 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.

John Williams American composer, conductor, and pianist

John Towner Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest film composers of his time, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable, and critically acclaimed film scores in cinematic history in a career spanning over six decades. Williams has won 24 Grammy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. With 52 Academy Award nominations, he is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney. In 2005 the American Film Institute selected Williams's score to 1977's Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. The Library of Congress also entered the Star Wars soundtrack into the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Film score original music written specifically to accompany a film, part of the films soundtrack

A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes pre-existing music, dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question. Scores are written by one or more composers, under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, the film's director or producer and are then usually performed by an ensemble of musicians – most often comprising an orchestra or band, instrumental soloists, and choir or vocalists – known as playback singers and recorded by a sound engineer.

George Antheil American avant-garde composer, pianist, author and inventor

George Antheil was an American avant-garde composer, pianist, author, and inventor whose modernist musical compositions explored the modern sounds – musical, industrial, and mechanical – of the early 20th century.

Elmer Bernstein American composer and conductor

Elmer Bernstein was an American composer and conductor known for his film scores. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he composed "some of the most recognizable and memorable themes in Hollywood history", including over 150 original movie scores, as well as scores for nearly 80 television productions. Examples of his widely popular and critically acclaimed works are scores to The Ten Commandments (1956), The Magnificent Seven (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Great Escape (1963), The Rookies (1972–76), Animal House (1978), Airplane! (1980), Heavy Metal (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), The Black Cauldron (1985), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), Wild Wild West (1999) and Far from Heaven (2002).

Henry Brant American composer

Henry Dreyfuss Brant was a Canadian-born American composer. An expert orchestrator with a flair for experimentation, many of Brant's works featured spatialization techniques.

Les Baxter American musician, singer, composer

Leslie Thompson Baxter was an American musician and composer. After working as an arranger and composer for swing bands, he developed his own style of easy listening music, known as exotica.

Marni Nixon American singer and actress

Margaret Nixon McEathron, known professionally as Marni Nixon, was an American soprano and ghost singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She is now recognized as the singing voice of leading actresses on the soundtracks of several musicals, including Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, although her roles were concealed from audiences when the films were released.

Robert Russell Bennett American composer, arranger

Robert Russell Bennett was an American composer and arranger, best known for his orchestration of many well-known Broadway and Hollywood musicals by other composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers.

Morton Gould American composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist

Morton Gould was an American composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist.

Jerome Moross was an American composer. He composed works for symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists and musical theatre. He also orchestrated motion picture scores for other composers. He is best known for his music for film and television.

<i>Ballet Mécanique</i> 1924 film

Ballet Mécanique (1923–24) is a Dadaist post-Cubist art film conceived, written, and co-directed by the artist Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy. It has a musical score by the American composer George Antheil. However, the film premiered in a silent version on 24 September 1924 at the Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik in Vienna presented by Frederick Kiesler. It is considered one of the masterpieces of early experimental filmmaking.

Leo Arnaud French-American composer of Buglers Dream

Leo Arnaud or Léo Arnaud was a French-American composer of film scores, best known for "Bugler's Dream", which is used as the theme by television networks presenting the Olympic Games in the United States.

<i>West Side Story</i> (soundtrack) 1961 soundtrack album by various artists

West Side Story is the soundtrack to the 1961 film West Side Story. Released in 1961, the soundtrack spent 54 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's album charts, giving it the longest run at No. 1 of any album in history, although some lists instead credit Michael Jackson's Thriller, on the grounds that West Side Story was listed on a chart for stereo albums only at a time when many albums were recorded in mono. In 1962, it won a Grammy award for "Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast" and Johnny Richards orchestrations of the movie score also winning a Grammy in 1962 for "Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album" further bolstering the popularity of the movie and soundtrack. In the United States, it was the best-selling album of the 1960s, certifying three times platinum by the RIAA on November 21, 1986.

<i>Exodus</i> (soundtrack) 1961 soundtrack album by Ernest Gold

Exodus is a soundtrack album by Ernest Gold with the Sinfonia of London from the 1960 film Exodus directed by Otto Preminger.

Edwin Wendler Austrian composer

Edwin Wendler is an Austrian composer working in Los Angeles, California.

"Theme of Exodus" is a song with music by Ernest Gold, written for the 1960 film epic film on the founding of the modern State of Israel Exodus, based on the 1958 novel Exodus by Leon Uris. The film features an ensemble cast, and its celebrated soundtrack music was written by Ernest Gold who won both Best Soundtrack Album and Song of the Year at the 1961 Grammy Awards for the soundtrack and theme to Exodus respectively. It is the only instrumental song to ever receive that award.

James Shearman British composer

James Shearman is an English conductor, orchestrator, and composer. He is perhaps best known for his contributions to film scores including those for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Aladdin, Thor, Manchester by the Sea, Beauty and the Beast, and numerous others. He has collaborated frequently with composer, Patrick Doyle. In addition to his conducting and orchestration, Shearman is also a songwriter, having co-written the title track from Charlotte Church's 2000 album, Dream a Dream. He regularly conducts notable orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Christopher Francis Palmer was an English composer, arranger and orchestrator; biographer of composers, champion of lesser-known composers and writer on film music and other musical subjects; record producer; and lecturer. He was involved in a very wide range of projects and his output was prodigious. He came to be regarded as one of the finest symphonic orchestrators of his generation. He was dedicated to the conservation, recording and promotion of classic film scores by composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman, Miklós Rózsa, Elmer Bernstein and others. He wrote full biographies as well as sleeve notes, radio scripts, reviews and articles, on composers such as Benjamin Britten, Frederick Delius, Karol Szymanowski, Arthur Bliss, George Dyson, Herbert Howells, Maurice Ravel, Nikolai Tcherepnin and others.

Leigh Phillips British composer

Leigh Phillips is an award-winning composer, orchestrator, and conductor of music for film, media, and theatre. In addition to this, he is responsible for developing unique orchestrations, and arrangements, of film-music for live concert performance and recording.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Obituary: Ernest Gold". The Independent. 1999-03-30. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
  2. Gruber, Orpheus Trust, Dr. Primavera. "Orpheus Trust - Verein zur Erforschung und Veröffentlichung vertriebener und vergessener Kunst". www.orpheustrust.at.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Eder, Bruce. "Artist Biography". All Music. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Thomas, Tony (March 1992). Film Score. Riverwood Press. pp. 47–55. ISBN   9781880756010.
  5. 1 2 Thomas, Tony (October 1997). Music for the Movies. Silman-James Pr. ISBN   9781879505377.
  6. "I'm Solomon". Playbill. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  7. "Moby's 'Porcelain' - Discover the Sample Source". WhoSampled. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  8. 1 2 "Biography". Ernest Gold. Hollywood.com. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  9. "Exodus (1960) Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  10. "Gold, Ernest". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  11. Cross, Lucy. "Marni Nixon". Masterworks Broadway. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  12. Nixon, Marni (Sep 2006). I Could Have Sung All Night: My Story. Billboard Books. ISBN   9780823083657 . Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  13. "Ernest Gold". Monstrous Movie Music. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  14. "Ernest Gold, 77, Oscar-Winning Composer". The New York Times . 1999-03-21. Retrieved 2013-12-17.