The Kennedy Center

Darrell W. Calker


A prominent American composer, conductor, and arranger, Darrell Calker was born in Washington, DC in 1905. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. Later, he studied music with Edgar Priest and David Pell at the Curtis Institute.

Calker composed musical scores for ballet companies including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Sadlers Wells. Among his ballets are Royal Coachman, Quiet Week, and Decameron. His classical works include Penguin Island and Golden Land.

He composed scores for more than 200 movies, both live action and cartoons. His live action movies include Albuquerque (1948), Five Bold Women (1960) and Beyond the Time Barrier (1960). Between 1948 and 1960, he provided the musical score for a great number of cartoon movies, including a continued collaboration with Walter Lantz, of Woody Woodpecker fame.
Darrell Calker


  • Penguin Island