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Franz Waxman

Biography

Born: December 24, 1906; Königshütte, Upper Silesia, Germany   Died: February 24, 1967; Los Angeles, CA  
Franz Waxman (Wachsmann) was one of the most prolific and respected twentieth century composers of film music. He also produced a large output of concert music, including orchestral, choral, chamber, and instrumental works. In addition, Waxman was a noted conductor and impresario.

Franz Waxman was born in Konigshutte, Germany (now Chorzow, Poland), the last of six children. Persuaded to prepare for a career in banking by his
Read more industrialist father, young Franz, who had studied piano from the age of seven, reluctantly worked as a teller for over two years. After leaving his banking career, he began advanced studies in piano and composition, first in Dresden, then in Berlin. He earned money as a pianist performing in nightclubs and with jazz ensembles. He began doing band arrangements while working with the Weintraub Syncopaters and eventually started doing orchestral arrangements for filmmakers, his first major effort being Frederick Hollander's score for the 1930 film Blue Angel. His first original film score was Kabinett de Dr. Larifari (1930) and by the end of 1933, he had 11 scores to his credit. The 1934 production of Fritz Lang's Liliom was his first major triumph. Lang engaged Waxman to travel to the United States with him to do arrangements for the 1934 film version of Jerome Kern's Music in the Air. Waxman's first original score of the 144 he would do in Hollywood was for the 1935 film The Bride of Frankenstein. That same year, he signed a two-year contract with Universal Pictures to both compose scores and act as the studio's music department director. His efforts during this period include The Invisible Ray (1936) and Fritz Lang's Fury (1936). In 1937, MGM signed Waxman to a seven-year contract, initiating a relationship that would yield scores for such major efforts as Captains Courageous (1937), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Suspicion (1941), and Woman of the Year (1942). Waxman's services were occasionally subcontracted to other filmmakers during this period, twice resulting in Academy Award nominations for him, The Young in Heart (1938) and Rebecca (1940), both for David O. Selznick. Meanwhile, Waxman was also turning out scores for the concert stage, most notably the Souvenirs de Paris Waltzes (1939) and the suite from Rebecca (1940). His next studio affiliation came in 1943 with Warner Bros., which also resulted in numerous major scores, including Mr. Skeffington (1944), and Objective, Burma! (1945). Waxman established the Los Angeles International Music Festival in 1947, which premiered works by Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, and many other major composers. He also worked as conductor and administered many of the festival's events. Waxman's now-popular Carmen Fantasie (1947), written for Humoresque (with Isaac Stern brilliantly captured on the soundtrack), was recorded for RCA by Jascha Heifetz. In 1950 and 1951, Waxman won Academy Awards for Best Film Score for Sunset Boulevard and A Place in the Sun, respectively, becoming the first composer to win in successive years. More famous scores followed in the decade ahead, including those for Prince Valiant (1954), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), and Taras Bulba (1962). He continued turning out fine orchestral works too, like Reminiscences (1953) and Ruth (1960). Beginning in the late 1950s, Waxman wrote music for numerous well-known television series, including The Twilight Zone (1959), The Fugitive (1963), and Peyton Place (1964). Waxman remained active composing film scores and concert music in his last years. Read less
Browse 26-50 of 75 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Waxman: Works For Violin & Piano / Seybold, Chernyavska
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 10171 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Franz Waxman,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Christoph Seybold,  Milana Chernyavska
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  • 27.
    Songs Of The Earth / Mauceri, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438867 Release Date: 03/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Edvard Grieg,  Carl Nielsen,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Louise Di Tullio,  Bruce Dukov
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Jascha Heifetz Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 742202 Release Date: 06/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Waxman,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Brooks Smith,  Emanuel Bay,  Arpád Sándor
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Donald Voorhees,  Alfred Wallenstein,  Fritz Reiner  ... 
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  • 29.
    Vintage Cinema - Music From King Kong, Robin Hood, Spellbound, Sunset Boulevard, Etc / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 60708 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Elmer Bernstein,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 30.
    Vintage Cinema / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80708 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elmer Bernstein,  Miklós Rózsa,  Bernard Herrmann,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 31.
    Con Passione / Yossif Ivanov, Itamar Golan
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 136 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Ernest Chausson,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Yossif Ivanov,  Itamar Golan
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  • 32.
    Sunset Boulevard - Classic Film Scores Of Franz Waxman
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7017 Release Date: 06/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Spectacular World Of Classic Film Scores / Gerhardt, National PO
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 2792 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernard Herrmann,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Franz Waxman,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Leonid Kogan - Interpretations
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 1131 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Alexander Glazunov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan
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  • 35.
    Joan Sutherland - Talking Pictures / Bonynge, English Co
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417470 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Buddy G. DeSylva,  Ray Henderson,  Sigmund Romberg  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Masters And Commanders - Music From Seafaring Film Classics
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80682 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  John Debney,  Morton Gould,  Franz Waxman  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Lees
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 37.
    Golden Age Of Light Music 1950s Vol 4 - Cornflakes
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5130 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Lockyer,  Lou Singer,  Tolchard Evans,  Heino Gaze  ... 
    Conductor:  Malcolm Lockyer,  Michael Fredericks,  Johnny Gregory,  Laurie Johnson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malcolm Lockyer and his Orchestra,  Michael Fredericks Orchestra,  Johnny Gregory and his Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    Hollywood Dreams / John Mauceri, Hollywood Bowl Orch
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432109 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Rodgers,  Max Steiner,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Radnofsky
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    The Best Of Maxim Vengerov
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63780 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Revital Chachamov,  Itamar Golan
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 40.
    The Hollywood Sound: Music For The Movies
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4178 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  David Raksin  ... 
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 41.
    American Classics - Adams: Violin Concerto, Etc / Hanslip
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559302 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Corigliano,  George Enescu,  Franz Waxman,  John Adams
    Performer:  Chloë Hanslip,  Charles Owen
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 42.
    Waxman: Joshua / Sedares, Prague Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000697902 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Rodney Gilfry,  Peter Buchi,  Maxmilian Schell,  Ann Hallenberg
    Conductor:  James Sedares
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
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    On sale! $16.99
    CD: $13.99
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  • 43.
    French Collection - Debussy, Ravel, Et Al / De Groot, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90698 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Ravel,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Bernd Brackman,  Jeroen de Groot
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  • 44.
    Triple Feature - Round Up, Time Warp, Hollywood's Greatest Hits
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89006 Release Date: 11/23/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Donald Dorsey,  Richard Strauss,  Jerry Goldsmith,  Alexander Courage  ... 
    Performer:  Donald Dorsey,  Frankie Laine
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus
    On sale! $31.98
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  • 45.
    Virtuoso Pieces For Violin And Piano / Rohn, Chemyavska
    Label: Claves   Catalog: 2507 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Sinding,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Manuel Ponce  ... 
    Performer:  Milana Chernyavska,  Daniel Röhn
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  • 46.
    Flute Masterworks: Poulenc, Debussy, Varese, Borne, Nobis, Prokofiev
    Label: Aeolus Recordings   Catalog: 5637291131 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Claude Debussy,  Edgard Varčse,  Ricklen Nobis  ... 
    Performer:  Ricklen Nobis,  Erich Louis Graf
    CD: $15.99
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  • 47.
    Film Music Classics - Waxman: Rebecca / Adriano
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557549 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Film Music Classics - Waxman: Objective Burma
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557706 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Laureate Series - Violin - Frank Huang, Dina Vainstein
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557121 Release Date: 11/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Dina Vainstein,  Frank Huang
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  • 50.
    Debut - Music For Violin And Piano / Khachatryan, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 75684 Release Date: 03/04/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Waxman,  Ernest Chausson,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Sergey Khachatryan,  Vladimir Khachatryan,  Lusine Khachatryan
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