How European symphonic composers created the “Hollywood Sound”

Posted on: February 20, 2015

“As the world looks to Hollywood this Sunday with its glittering Academy Awards, I shall be remembering a less-recognized group of Oscar nominees and winners,” writes Daniel Hope in Thursday’s (2/19) Wall Street Journal. Hope is a concert violinist, member of the Beaux Arts Trio, and associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival. “When I started to explore one of the greatest flights in history, of European cultural and intellectual talent—the thousands of artists, musicians, writers and creative minds who began arriving in Los Angeles [starting in] 1933—I found a fascinating tale that seemed strangely familiar.… Writing for the studio musicians of prewar and postwar Hollywood was a group of astonishing composers, many of whom had escaped the Nazis, and who helped shape what was to become the ‘Hollywood Sound.’ … But exile life was far from easy. Some of the European composers had also enjoyed considerable success as ‘serious’ symphonic composers. Now the only way to earn a living was by composing for film, and many struggled to adapt to this strange new world.… The Hollywood Sound that a remarkable generation of émigré composers created lives on.”

Posted February 20, 2015