Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann is one of the greatest composers of motion picture music in the twentieth century. He is considered the man behind some of the most original and distinctive film scores. He was a master at evoking psychological and dramatic tension in his music to suit the dramatic needs of a film. He won his only Oscar in 1947 for writing the score for William Dieterles, the Devil and Daniel Webster. His parents were Abraham Herrmann and Ida Gorenstein of Russian Jewish heritage. His father encouraged him in the arts and gave him his first musical instrument a violin. At the age of five began to suffer from Sydenham's syndrome, a disorder that affectSempersonality development. As a child he won composition prize and was playing violin in Yiddish theater and by age 20 founded the New Chamber Orchestra. His first formal music training was by Gustav Heine at DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1929 he enrolled at NYU and he left in 1930 to attend Julliard School of Music. While there he joined the Young Composers Group. He quit school in 1932. He made a powerful mark in radio and in 1934 he began a 25-year career as a conductor and composer in radio, working for the Columbia Broadcasting Syst (CBS). In 1938 he scored notorious infamous presentation of Orson Wells drama series The Mercury Theatre, Halloween production of H. G. Wells's, The War of the Worlds broadcast. He was married three times. First wife, writer Lucille Fletcher, they had two children. His second wife was Lucille Anderson both marriages ended in divorce. He is best remembered for his collaborations with some of Hollywoods most celebrated film directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese. He is described as a perfectionist and d anding and he believed that most directors didn't have a clue about music so he would ‘ blithely' ignore their instructions which often lead to cataclysmic results. Like his 11 year collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock ended and he could find work in Hollywood for years. bittered, he moved to England where he met and married third wife, journalist Norma Shepherd in 1967. His last collaboration was with Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver, this film is dedicated to Bernard Herrmann, who died on Christmas Eve 1975 the day he finished the final his final score.