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 51-70 of 70 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Gidon Kremer - Happy Birthday / Kremerata Baltica
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79657 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ladislav Kupkovic,  Edward Bor,  Vato Kakhidze,  Adrien François Servais  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Vato Kakhidze,  Lasma Muceniece,  Marta Sudraba  ... 
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica
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  • 56.
    Now Playing On Marco Polo / Various
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225237 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Bernard Herrmann,  Victor Young  ... 
    Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Entartete Musik - Waxman: The Song Of Terezin / Foster
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460211 Release Date: 02/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eric Zeisl,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Della Jones,  Deborah Riedel,  Michael Kraus
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus,  Berlin Radio Children's Choir
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  • 58.
    Hollywood Nightmares / Mauceri, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442425 Release Date: 08/30/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Igor Stravinsky,  John T. Williams,  Jerry Goldsmith  ... 
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    The Heifetz Collection Vol 21 - Korngold, Rozsa, Waxman
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61752 Release Date: 06/17/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Miklós Rózsa,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Gregor Piatigorsky
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees,  Walter Hendl,  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 60.
    The Road I Travel / Maxim Vengerov
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 17045 Release Date: 04/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Itamar Golan,  Alexander Markov
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Kurt Masur,  Claudio Abbado,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    You Must Remember This - Film Scores Of Waxman & Steiner
    Label: Cambria   Catalog: 1030 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  William Kanengiser,  Gregg Nestor,  Jordan Dardov,  Gordon Halligan
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  • 62.
    Carmen Fantasy - Virtuoso Music For Trumpet / Nakariakov
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 94554 Release Date: 03/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Markovich,  Sergei Nakariakov
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  • 63.
    City Of Strangers / Ute Lemper
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444400 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Kosma,  Harriet Zinnes,  Hanns Eisler,  Wal Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Ute Lemper
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  • 64.
    The Great Waltz / John Mauceri, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438685 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Herrmann, Waxman: Sinfonietta; Rosza / Jackson, Berlin SO
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7152 Release Date: 01/05/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Miklós Rózsa,  Bernard Herrmann
    Conductor:  Isaiah Jackson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Classic Film Scores For Bette Davis
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 183 Release Date: 07/01/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Alfred Newman,  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Captain Blood - Classic Film Scores Of Errol Flynn
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 912 Release Date: 06/11/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Friedhofer,  Franz Waxman,  Max Steiner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Round Up / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80141 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Hayman,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Jerome Moross,  Alfred Newman  ... 
    Performer:  Frankie Laine
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  May Festival Chorus,  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 69.
    Chiller / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80189 Release Date: 08/10/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Mancini,  Jerry Goldsmith,  John Addison,  Bernard Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $11.99
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  • 70.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: 100 Greatest American Light Orchestras, Vol. 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5231 Release Date: 2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mexican Anonymous,  Irving Berlin,  Richard Rodgers,  Vincent Youmans  ... 
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Glenn Osser,  Richard Jones,  Xavier Cugat  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Pittsburgh Strings
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