The International Alfred Newman Society

Alfred Newman (1901-1970)

"From Broadway Professionalism to the true Spirit of Music,
the Glory of Heaven and the Deep of the Human Heart."


Alfred Newman war einer der herausragendsten und einflussreichsten Komponisten des klassischen amerikanischen Kinos im „Hollywood Golden Age“, welches er in seiner Spannbreite von Beginn des Tonfilms um 1930 herum bis zum Niedergang desselben in den späten 60zigern nahezu vollständig abdeckte.

Er wirkte als Musikchef der Samuel Goldwyn Productions und der 20th Century Fox und hat im Verlaufe seiner Karriere nahezu 250 Filme musikalisch betreut als Komponist, Arrangeur, Studio-Dirigent und Musical Director oder Supervisor von  aufwendigen Musical-Verfilmungen.

Seine - im Sinne der Mood-Technik, dem Unterbreiten eines unterschwelligen musikalischen Gefühlsteppichs unter die jeweiligen Szenen gehaltene, gänzlich vom "Micky Mousing" der Scores anderer Komponisten unterschiedene - Musik erreicht die Herzen der Hörer ganz unmittelbar und intim. Sie gehört somit zum eindringlichsten und ausgefeiltesten, was Filmmusik seinerzeit zu leisten imstande war.

Newman wurde für seine mannigfaltigen musikalischen Aktivitäten hoch geehrt. Er erhielt im Laufe seiner Karriere 9 Oscars und 45 Oscar-Nominierungen.

Seine wichtigsten und besten Arbeiten waren u. a:  Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (1939) mit dem großartigen Charles Laughton in der Titelrolle, David und Bathseba (1951), Wuthering Heights (1939), Captain from Castile (1947), Das Gewand (1953), All about Eve (1950), Das Lied von Bernadette (1943), Beau Geste (1939), „The Prince of Foxes (1949), The Egyptian (1954, Co: B. Herrmann), Airport (1970) etc.


Alfred Newman, March 17, 1901 - February 17, 1970, was born in New Haven to a poor family. He had nine siblings and was already playing piano as a child. The father left the family early, the brothers Emil & Lionel were also active as Film-Composers.
Alfred got an education at the "von de Ende Music School" in New York as a pianist and studied composition with Sigismund Stojowski & Arnold Schönberg.

He won several Competition-Music-Prices as pianist and had some performances as „Boy Pianist“ at the Strand Theatre New York. A famous career at the age of 17 as „Boy Conductor“ on Broadway followed. Furthermore he made career as Conductor of the „George Whites Scandals“ and several Gershwin shows.

1930 he moved to Hollywood as a Special Music Director of Irving Berlins Musical Filming „Reaching for the Moon“. The consequence was a commitment for „One Heavenly Night“. In addition he was the composer for the Producers Zanuck, Selznick and Goldwyn at United Artists.
Until 1939 he worked as Musical Director for the Goldwyn Productions, 1939-41 also working for Paramount and RKO. 1940-1960 he was Chief of the Music Departement of the 20th Century Fox with several Major Scores in this time. He promoted colleagues like Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, David Raksin, Hugo Friedhofer, Alex North and Jerry Goldsmith.

His skills as a famous Orchestra-Conductor, who did internationally accepted High Fidelity Recordings, allowed him to create 250 scores in a 40 years lasting career.
He received the Oscar nine times, only two times for composing a dramatic score: „The Song of Bernadette“ 1943 and „Love is a many splendored Thing“ in 1956. Seven times he won the Oscar for scoring a Musical as head of a highly profiled team.
All in all he was nominated for the Oscar 45 times! The most famous composition today is the Fox Fanfare from 1934/35, which became the also famous Cinemascope Fanfare-Coda in 1953.
Since 1960 he worked as a freelance composer of more or less great and famous movies, most famous is the score of „How the West was won“ in 1962.

The most shameful and most frustrating in his career was probably the work for „The Greatest Story Ever Told“ in 1963, which was rearranged, processed and shortened by the Director and Producer George Stevens.

Alfred Newmans last score was for „Airport“ in 1970, completed shortly before his death in Hollywood on February 17, 1970.


Hier entsteht ab Juni 2014 die Webpräsenz der im Mai 2014 neu gegründeten International Alfred Newman Society, welche ein umfangreiches Informationsangebot zu Leben und Musik Alfred Newmans anbieten wird.
Informationen über Pläne, Ziele und eine Mitgliedschaft der Society finden sich unter cavallerotti@gmx.de.

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