Erich Wolfgang Korngold

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD became world famous primarily for his film music. Yet his early instrumental works earned him high praise from Mahler, Richard Strauss and Puccini as a child prodigy. At the age of 14 he wrote his first orchestral work, the Overture, and his first stage opuses, Der Ring des Polykrates and  Violanta, staged in 1914 at the Vienna Royal Opera, caused a real sensation. After the First World War his popularity grew, and he then composed some of his greatest works – the Piano Concerto for Left Hand (commissioned by the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right hand during the war; Ravel’s Left Hand Concerto was also written for him), the operas The Dead City and Eliana. During this time he was also involved in the completion and orchestration of several classical operettas and taught music theory and conducting at the Vienna Academy of Music. In the 1930s-40s he wrote music for famous Hollywood film productions such as Captain Blood’s Odyssey,  Anthony Adverse, The Adventures of Robin Hood and many others, won Academy Awards (in 1936 and 1938) and settled in Los Angeles for the rest of his life. During World War II, Korngold had vowed to give up composing anything other than film music, with which he supported himself and his family, until Hitler had been defeated.

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