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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
Film Music Classics - Waxman: Rebecca / Adriano
Release Date: 09/20/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557549   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 51-75 of 75 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Waxman: Objective Burma / William T. Stromberg, Moscow So
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225148 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Et Al/ Haveron, Blumenthal
    Label: Cypres   Catalog: 9604 Release Date: 08/12/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Andrew Haveron,  Daniel Blumenthal
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  • 55.
    Waxman: Mr. Skeffington / William T. Stromberg, Moscow So
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 225037 Release Date: 09/28/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    Music In Film
    Label: Sony Classical Npr Milestones   Catalog: 60991 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold,  James Horner,  John Barry,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  James Horner,  John Barry,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Studio Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Skywalker Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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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.
    Heifetz - Violin Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63154 Release Date: 06/16/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Brooks Smith,  Emanuel Bay,  Erick Friedman
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  William Steinberg,  Donald Voorhees,  Fritz Reiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    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
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Waxman: The Spirit Of St. Louis, Ruth / Foster, Shirley
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 10711 Release Date: 10/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  George Shirley
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Piazzolla: Concerto For Bandoneon;  Rota, Et Al / Goritzki
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 10565 Release Date: 08/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Bernhard Heiden,  Nino Rota,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Lothar Hensel
    Conductor:  Johannes Goritzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Academy Neuss
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Herrman, Waxman, North: Piano Concertos / Beuchner, Sedares
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7225 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alex North,  Franz Waxman,  Bernard Herrmann
    Performer:  David Buechner
    Conductor:  James Sedares
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Lalo, Saint-saens, Chausson
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64501 Release Date: 07/25/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Ernest Chausson,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims,  Frank Brieff,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    Waxman: Rebecca / Adriano, Cssr So
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 223399 Release Date: 12/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  Adriano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    Celebration: A Life With Music / Isaac Stern
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42003 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ernest Bloch  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Alexander Zakin,  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Waxman,  Isaac Stern,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia String Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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
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