Herrmann, Bernard

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American composer and conductor Bernard Herrmann was born in New York City on June 29, 1911. He attended New York University and the Julliard School of Music. In 1933 he formed the New Chamber Orchestra. Herrmann joined CBS in 1934 as a composer-conductor and from 1936 to 1940 he composed incidental music for a number of radio show episodes. In the following years Herrmann composed music for concert works, operas, film productions and television series. He composed his most famous film scores for film directors Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock. His score for All That Money Can Buy (1941) won an Academy Award. He died in Los Angeles on December 24, 1975.

From the description of Bernard Herrmann manuscripts from the CBS collection, 1934-1950 [microform]. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 54413393

American composer and conductor.

From the description of "Wuthering Heights Act I Sc. I / For Arnold. / A merry, merry Christmas / from / Bernard Herrmann / Dec 24/50" : autograph manuscript, 1950 Dec. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270566395

Herrmann was born in June 29, 1911, in New York City; attended NYU and Juilliard; won a composition prize at age 13; founded and conducted the New Chamber Orchestra at age 20; in 1934 he joined CBS radio as a composer-conductor, and his radio broadcasts included Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre on the Air and its most notorious presentation, The war of the worlds; his concert music was commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, and he was a guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra; he composed an opera, Wuthering Heights (1951), and a cantata, Moby Dick (1938); he was noted for his integrated and emotionally compelling film scores, which often utilized limited orchestral means; created his most famous scores for Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock; won the Academy Award for the score of All that money can buy (1941); he died in his sleep shortly after completing the recording sessions for his score of Taxi driver in 1975.

From the description of Collection of music for film, television, and radio productions, 1935-1969. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39526352

b New York

Epithet: composer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000688.0x0003a4

Biographical Note

Born in New York City in 1911, Bernard Herrmann was educated at New York University, where he studied with Philip James (composition) and Bernard Wagenaar (conducting); and at Juilliard, where he studied with Percy Grainger (composition) and Albert Stossel (conducting). He was an active member of Aaron Copland's Young Composer's Group during the early thirties, and initiated a friendship with Charles Ives after discovering some of Ives's privately published scores at the New York Public Library. In 1931 he formed the New Chamber Orchestra, with which he conducted works by himself and his peers, including Jerome Moross and Arthur Berger, as well as works by Charles Ives.

His exposure with the New Chamber Orchestra attracted the attention of John Green, who hired Herrmann as a staff arranger and conductor at CBS Radio in 1933. His talents as a composer became evident when he submitted a score for narrator and orchestra using Keat's poem La belle dame sans merci in late 1934. He soon became involved in the scoring of radio dramas with the innovative and experimental series Columbia Workshop. He also worked with Orson Welles as music director of the Mercury Theater of the Air. He pursued his interest in conducting with the CBS Symphony, eventually winning an appointment as chief conductor in 1941. His dramatic cantata Moby Dick, for male soloists, male chorus, and large orchestra, received its world premiere with the New York Philharmonic under John Barbarolli's direction in April of 1940.

Herrmann's association with Welles led him to Hollywood in 1939 when the Mercury Theater was contracted by RKO Radio Pictures to make a film. Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons resulted, both scored by Herrmann. He continued his work as conductor of the CBS Symphony Orchestra and as a composer of scores for radio dramas through the 1940s, and took four assignments from 20th Century-Fox that appealed to him: Jane Eyre (1943), Hangover Square (1944), Anna and the King of Siam (1946), and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947). His work on Jane Eyre inspired him to adapt Wuthering Heights as an opera (1943-1951), which he ranked as his most important work.

With the swift post-war decline of commercial radio, Herrmann's rewarding career as the conductor of the CBS orchestra and composer of music for radio drama evaporated. Hollywood presented the only practical career alternative; Herrmann moved to California in 1951, and for four years worked exclusively at 20th Century-Fox. Most of the work during this time was on adventure films set in exotic locales ( Beneath the Twelve-Mile Reef, White Witch Doctor, The King of the Khyber Rifles, The Egyptian, etc.). In 1955 he began to freelance, and became involved with Alfred Hitchcock's feature filmmaking operation. He went on to score many of Hitchcock's most successful films ( Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, etc.). Herrmann continued to conduct during this period, though almost exclusively in England. He most frequently conducted the Halle and BBC Orchestras.

In the early 1960s, Herrmann's career began to unravel once again. His bellicose temper, fed by his failure to secure a conducting post, began to threaten his offers to guest conduct. His recalcitrance over details of production scuttled every opportunity to stage his opera Wuthering Heights. In Hollywood the studio system began to deteriorate rapidly. Popular songs became very much in demand from film producers looking to squeeze every last potential dollar out of their films. This popular music syndrome proved the downfall of Herrmann's relationship with Alfred Hitchcock. Asked to write in a popular idiom for Torn Curtain (1966), Herrmann instead produced a very intense and unorthodox score, in an effort to better serve the dramatic needs of the film. Hitchcock regarded this as an act of insubordination and betrayal, and fired Herrmann only moments after hearing the score for the first time.

Unable to find work in Hollywood, Herrmann began to take film assignments in England and make commercial recordings for London Records. His films from this period included two directed by Francois Truffaut, Fahrenheit 451 and La marieé etait en noir. Eventually a younger group of filmmakers began to emerge in the 1970s, led by Brian DePalma ( Sisters and Obsession ) and Martin Scorcese ( Taxi Driver ). Suffering from a heart condition aggravated by years of chain smoking, Herrmann was unable to take full advantage of this resurgence of interest in his work. The evening before Christmas Eve 1975, after finishing the recording sessions of Taxi Driver, Herrmann died in his sleep at the age of 64.

From the guide to the Bernard Herrmann Papers, 1927-1977, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)

Biography

Herrmann was born in June 29, 1911, in New York City; attended NYU and Juilliard; won a composition prize at age 13; founded and conducted the New Chamber Orchestra at age 20; in 1934 he joined CBS radio as a composer-conductor, and his radio broadcasts included Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre on the Air and its most notorious presentation, The War of the Worlds; his concert music was commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, and he was a guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra; he composed an opera, Wuthering Heights (1951), and a cantata, Moby Dick (1938); he was noted for his integrated and emotionally compelling film scores, which often utilized limited orchestral means; created his most famous scores for Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock; won the Academy Award for the score of All That Money Can Buy (1941); he died in his sleep shortly after completing the recording sessions for his score of Taxi Driver in 1975.

From the guide to the Bernard Herrmann Collection of Music for Film, Television, and Radio Productions, 1935-1969, (University of California, Los Angeles. Performing Arts Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Henry Cowell collection of noncommercial recordings [sound recording], 1940-1953 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Welles, Orson, 1915-1985. Citizen Kane / Orson Welles, réal., scénario, dial. ; Herman J. Mankiewicz, scénario, dial. ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. "Wuthering Heights Act I Sc. I / For Arnold. / A merry, merry Christmas / from / Bernard Herrmann / Dec 24/50" : autograph manuscript, 1950 Dec. 24. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Evans, Mark, 1947-. Interview, ca. 1974. American Primers
creatorOf Riegger, Wallingford, 1885-1961. New dance / Riegger. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Bernard Herrmann Radio and Television Music, 1936-1959 University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
creatorOf American Music Edition records, 1920-1997, 1951-1991 Music Library
referencedIn Schoenbach, Sol,. Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel, Nov. 27, 1976. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Wincelberg, Shimon. "The king of schnorrers" : ( from the book by Israel Zangwill) ; a musical comedy in 2 acts / Book by: Shimon Wincelberg ; Music by: Bernard Herrmann ; Lyrics by: Diane Lampert. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Wrong man trailer. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Bernard Herrmann radio and television music collection 1936-1959. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Selznick, David O., 1902-1965. Studio archive, 1904-1980 (bulk 1936-1955). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Jack Diether collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1967-1984 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Duke, Vernon, 1903-1969. Vernon Duke collection, 1918-1968. Library of Congress
creatorOf Levin, Henry, 1909-1980. Voyage au centre de la terre / Henry Levin, réal. ; Walter Reisch, Charles Brackett, scénario ; Bernard Hermann, comp. ; Jules Verne, aut. adapté ; Pat Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Hanson, Wendy,. Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel, Jan. 16, 1979 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Miklos Rozsa Papers, 1918-1996 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Ursula Vaughan Williams correspondence: Cordelia Curle-Jeremy Hunt, 1949-2000 British Library
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Welles raises Kane : a divertissement of the Gay Nineties. University of Sheffield, Sheffield University
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn The Charles Ives Papers, 1874-1983 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Louis Kaufman Collection, 1925-2008 Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Citizen Kane [microform] / Bernard Herrmann. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975,. Interview [sound recording] : conducted by John Amis, July 1, 1978. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Wuthering Heights : Act II / Bernard Herrmann. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf CECIL GRAY PAPERS. Vol. XII (ff. 180). G-L. Including letters of Patrick Hadley, the Earl of Harewood, John Ireland, Augustus John, Gerald Kersh, Zoltan Kodaly; 1921-1950, n.d. Partly typewritten. Partly French and Italian.Marjery Gray, formerly Herb..., 1921-1950 British Library
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Collection of music for film, television, and radio productions, 1935-1969. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf McBride, Robert, 1911-2007. Fugato on a well-known theme / Robt. McBride. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Bernard Herrmann Collection of Music for Film, Television, and Radio Productions, 1935-1969 University of California, Los Angeles. Performing Arts Special Collections
creatorOf Welles, Orson, 1915-1985. La splendeur des Amberson / Orson Welles, réal., scénario ; [Booth] Tarkington, aut. adapté ; Bernard Hermann, Roy Webb, comp. ; Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Singher, Martial. Martial Singher recordings, 1943-1980. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Scorsese, Martin, 1942-.... Taxi driver / Martin Scorsese, réal. ; Paul Schrader, scénario ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Powell, Edward B. Collection of motion picture music, 1935-1977. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf Welles, Orson, 1915-1985. Papers, 1930-1959. Indiana University
referencedIn Kaufman, Louis, 1905-1994. Louis Kaufman collection, 1925-2008. Library of Congress
creatorOf Truffaut, François, 1932-1984. La mariée était en noir / François Truffaut, réal., adapt., dial. ; William Irish, aut. adapté ; Jean-Louis Richard, adapt., dial. ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Jeanne Moreau, Michel Bouquet, Jean-Claude Brialy... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Bernard Herrmann papers, 1927-1977. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Vernon Duke Collection, 1918-1968 Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Kirkpatrick, Ralph. The Ralph Kirkpatrick papers, 1911-1977 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Kirkpatrick, John, 1905-1991. The John Kirkpatrick papers, 1836-1993 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Ives, Charles, 1874-1954. The Charles Ives papers, 1874-1983 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Levin, Henry, 1909-1980. Voyage au centre de la terre / Henry Levin, réal. ; Walter Reisch, Charles Brackett, scénario ; Bernard Hermann, comp. ; Jules Verne, aut. adapté ; Pat Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. [Selections] / Bernard Herrmann. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Bernard Herrmann manuscripts from the CBS collection, 1934-1950 [microform]. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Tuckwell, Barry,. Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel, Nov. 4, 1978 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Scorsese, Martin, 1942-.... Taxi driver / Martin Scorsese, réal. ; Paul Schrader, scénario ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Jack Diether collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1967-1984 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Truffaut, François, 1932-1984. La mariée était en noir / François Truffaut, réal., adapt., dial. ; William Irish, aut. adapté ; Jean-Louis Richard, adapt., dial. ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Jeanne Moreau, Michel Bouquet, Jean-Claude Brialy... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The John Kirkpatrick Papers, 1836-1993 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Diether, Jack. Jack Diether collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1967-1984. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Welles mss., 1930-1950, (Bulk 1936-1947) Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. North by northwest [microform] / Bernard Herrmann. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
creatorOf Fauré, Gabriel, 1845-1924. La bonne chanson / Faure ; [arr. by] B. Herrmann. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Bazelon, Irwin. Irwin Bazelon collection, 1947-2005 (bulk, 1960-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980. La mort aux trousses [Multimédia multisupport] / Alfred Hitchcock, réal ; Ernest Lehman, scénario ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Masson... [et al], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980. La mort aux trousses [Multimédia multisupport] / Alfred Hitchcock, réal ; Ernest Lehman, scénario ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Masson... [et al], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Haverlin, Carl, 1899-1985. [American composers collection]. Northwestern University
referencedIn Semmler, Alexander, 1900-1977. Alexander Semmler Papers, 1914-1977. University at Albany, University Libraries
creatorOf Bernard Herrmann Papers, 1927-1977 University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Psycho : music for the motion picture / by Bernard Herrmann ; transcribed by Matthew Gear. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf BERNARD STEVENS COLLECTION. Vol. LXXXIV. General correspondence; 1940-1982, n.d. ff. 233. British Library arrangement.Bertha Stevens, wife of Bernard Stevens: Letters to Bertha Stevens: 1949-1984, n.d.includes:f. 1 Gordon Percival Septimus Jacob, c..., 1940-1982 British Library
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. [Radio music. Selections] / Bernard Herrmann. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Wrobel, William. Film music research collection, ca. 1935-1997. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf Welles, Orson, 1915-1985. La splendeur des Amberson / Orson Welles, réal., scénario ; [Booth] Tarkington, aut. adapté ; Bernard Hermann, Roy Webb, comp. ; Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Welles, Orson, 1915-1985. Citizen Kane / Orson Welles, réal., scénario, dial. ; Herman J. Mankiewicz, scénario, dial. ; Bernard Herrmann, comp. ; Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Online Archive of California. Philip James correspondence 1940-1952. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975. Correspondence with Leopold Stokowski, 1958. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Ralph Vaughan Williams: Supplementary correspondence, 1922-1958 British Library
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associatedWith Schuller, Gunther person
associatedWith Schuman, William, 1910-1992. person
associatedWith Seeger, Ruth Crawford, 1901-1953 person
associatedWith Selznick, David O., 1902-1965. person
associatedWith Semmler, Alexander, 1900-1977. person
associatedWith Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985 person
associatedWith Shadinger, Richard person
associatedWith Shanet, Harold person
associatedWith Shaw, Clifford, 1911-1976 person
associatedWith Shepherd, Arthur, 1880-1958 person
associatedWith Shoemaker, John R. (John Rogers), 1934- person
associatedWith Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-1991 person
associatedWith Singher, Martial. person
associatedWith Slates, Philip M., 1924-1966 person
correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Snitman, Alice Rose person
associatedWith Spencer, Williametta person
associatedWith Spinner, Leopold person
associatedWith Stein, Alvin person
associatedWith Stevens, Halsey, 1908-1989 person
associatedWith Still, William Grant, 1895-1978 person
associatedWith Stoddard, Hope, 1900-1987 person
associatedWith Stoessel, Albert, 1894-1943 person
associatedWith Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977, person
associatedWith Stout, Alan person
associatedWith Strang, Gerald, 1908-1983 person
associatedWith Taylor, Clifford person
associatedWith Tcherepnin, Alexander, 1899-1977 person
associatedWith Theodore Presser Company corporateBody
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989 person
associatedWith Thorne, Francis person
associatedWith Trythall, Gilbert, 1930- person
associatedWith Tuckwell, Barry, person
associatedWith Turner, Godfrey, 1913-1948 person
associatedWith Tuthill, Burnet, 1888-1982 person
associatedWith Ussachevsky, Vladimir, 1911-1990 person
associatedWith Van Vactor, David, 1906-1994 person
associatedWith Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965 person
associatedWith Vázquez Sebastiá, Rafael person
associatedWith Verrall, John, 1908-2001 person
associatedWith Vito, Edward person
associatedWith Vogel, Norman person
associatedWith Vovk, Ivan person
associatedWith Vrionides, Christos, 1894-1961 person
associatedWith Wagenaar, Bernard, 1894-1971 person
associatedWith Wagner, Joseph, 1900-1974 person
associatedWith Watson, Scott, composer person
associatedWith Webern, Anton, 1883-1945 person
associatedWith Weigl, Karl, 1881-1949 person
associatedWith Weisberger, Arnold, person
associatedWith Weiss, Abraham, 1949- person
associatedWith Welles, Orson, 1915-1985. person
associatedWith Wendelburg, Norma person
associatedWith Whitcomb, Robert, 1921- person
associatedWith Whithorne, Emerson, 1884-1958 person
associatedWith Whitmer, T. Carl (Thomas Carl), 1873-1959 person
associatedWith Wiggins, Mary person
associatedWith Wincelberg, Shimon. person
associatedWith Wiser, John person
associatedWith Wrobel, William. person
associatedWith Wuorinen, Charles person
associatedWith xxxx Daugherty person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Yessin, Gerson person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Royaumont, Seine-et-Oise
United States
United States
Bournemouth, Hampshire
Subject
Overtures--Scores
Operas--Excerpts
Motion picture music--Scores
Composers--Archival resources
Motion picture music--Scores and parts
String orchestra music, Arranged--Scores
Motion picture music--Excerpts, Arranged--Scores
Music--Manuscripts
Instrumental music--Scores and parts
Composers--United States--Archival resources
Radio music
Operas--Excerpts--Scores
Motion picture music
Composers--Archives
Vocal music--Scores and parts
Television music--Scores and parts
Radio music--Scores and parts
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Radio scripts
Occupation
Collector
Composers
Conductor
Function

Person

Birth 1911-06-29

Death 1975-12-24

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6c24z3c

Ark ID: w6c24z3c

SNAC ID: 73620382