Max Steiner

Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner was born to a wealthy family on May 10, 1888.  He attended the Vienna School of Technology and the Imperial Academy of Music, where he studied with Gustav Mahler and was awarded a gold medal for finishing a four-year course in one year.  Steiner’s father owned a theater and let his son conduct an operetta when he was twelve, and the young composer had his first operetta performed when he was sixteen. After conducting mostly in England, he arrived in New York in 1914.  He spent the next fifteen years in the American theater, arranging, orchestrating, and conducting a wide variety of stage shows, including those written by Gershwin, Kern, and Herbert. 

In 1929 he was signed to an RKO contract, and after six years with that studio, he spent most of his film career working for Warner Brothers.  He was one of the most important and prolific composers in the history of the movies, scoring such classic films as The Big Sleep, The Caine Mutiny, Casablanca, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Gay Divorcee, Gone With the Wind, Key Largo, King Kong,The Letter, Life With Father, The Searchers, Sergeant York, They Died With Their Boots On, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and White Heat.  Max Steiner was nominated for over 20 Academy Awards®, winning for The Informer, Since You Went Away, and Now, Voyager.  He passed away on December 28, 1971. 

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