Film Music, Concert Music and
the Hollywood Connection
Alan Lawrence, Instructor and Teaching Artist in Music
Over the course of this four-week forum, Instructor and Teaching Artist in Music Alan Lawrence will explore significant milestones in the film music of the past century. Through film clips and audio recordings, audience members will learn about important film composers and the connections between concert and film music. The first week’s session will move from the silent film era through the blockbusters of the 1930s and ’40s, exploring the influence of Richard Wagner on early film composers such as Max Steiner (who scored “King Kong,” “Gone with the Wind” and “Casablanca”) and Erich Wolfgang Korngold (“The Adventures of Robin Hood”). Week two will take up the work of other expatriate European composers, including Franz Waxman (“Sunset Boulevard” and “Rear Window”) and Miklos Rozsa (“Spellbound” and “Ben Hur”), as well as American-born composers Alfred Newman (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”), David Raksin (“Laura”) and Hugo Friedhofer (“The Best Years of Our Lives”). The third session will highlight the volatile talent of Bernard Herrmann (“Citizen Kane,” “Vertigo,” “North by Northwest” and “Psycho”) as well as Leonard Bernstein (“On the Waterfront”) and Elmer Bernstein (“To Kill a Mockingbird”). The final session will emphasize the influence of concert composers like Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst on film music composition, including the work of the versatile John Williams (“Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “E.T.” and more).