Franz Waxman

1906 - 1967

American

Summary

Franz Waxman was a German and American composer of Jewish descent, known primarily for his work in the film music genre. His 150 film scores include Bride of Frankenstein, Rebecca, Sunset Boulevard, A Place in the Sun, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Philadelphia Story, Rear Window, Crime in the Streets, The Spirit of St. Louis, Peyton Place, Sayonara, The Nun's Story, and Taras Bulba. He received twelve Academy Award nominations, and won two Oscars in consecutive years (for Sunset Boulevard and A Place in the Sun). He also received a Golden Globe Award for the former film. Bernard Herrmann said that the score for Taras Bulba was "the score of a lifetime." 

He also composed concert works, including Sinfonietta for string orchestra and timpani (1955), the oratorio Joshua (1959), and The Song of Terezin (1965), a work for orchestra, chorus, and children's chorus based upon poetry written by children in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. His Carmen Fantasie on themes from Bizet's opera has had innumerable performances in its original version for violin and orchestra as well as in many transcriptions.

Waxman also founded the Los Angeles Music Festival in 1947 with which he conducted over 20 years; 70 World, American and West Coast premieres by Britten, Harris, Mahler, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Walton, among many others. 


Franz Waxman Between Film Music and Concert Hall
A monograph by Ingeborg Zechner

cover: Franz Waxman Between Film Music and Concert Hall

Available at: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlage

This comprehensive monograph on the composer Franz Waxman (1906–1967) provides a new look at Hollywood film music from the 1930s to the 1960s, as well as the music history of the 20th century between modernism, the canonized concert culture of the 19th century, and contemporary popular music.

News

Performances

20th April 2024

PERFORMERS
Ryan Haskins
CONDUCTOR
Ryan Haskins
LOCATION
Orpheum Theatre, Sioux City, IA, United States of America

3rd May 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Stephan Zilias
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hannover, Germany

3rd May 2024

PERFORMERS
Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
LOCATION
Ishikawa Kenritsu Ongakudo, Kanazawa, Japan

5th May 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Stephan Zilias
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hannover, Germany

7th May 2024

PERFORMERS
Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
LOCATION
Sumida Triphony Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Features

  • Highlights from the Waxman Catalogue
    • Highlights from the Waxman Catalogue
    • The catalogue of German American composer Franz Waxman is a formidable collection of work for the modern concert hall, encompassing not only the film scores for which he is best known, but concert works of great significance for orchestra, chorus, and chamber ensemble.

Photos

Discography