Hugo Friedhofer: The Best Years of His Life surveys the impressive career of one of Hollywood's extraordinary composers of music for the movies. Friedhofer became the leading orchestrator for Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and Alfred Newman soon after his 1929 arrival in Hollywood. He went on to compose music for over 120 films, earning 9 'scar nominations and receiving the award for his masterful score to The Best Years of Our Lives in 1946. Friedhofer's life is examined through essays, personal letters, and interviews with film historians and friends of the composer. The largest contribution is by Friedhofer himself in the form of an oral history conducted by Irene Kahn Atkins in 1974 for the American Film Institute. In addition to illuminating discussions of his own work, Friedhofer offers unique and humorous insight into the process of Hollywood filmmaking from 1929 up to the time of his death in 1981. He discusses working with Samuel Goldwyn, Billy Wilder, George Stevens, and William Wyler, as well as his association with composers Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and other prominent musicians of the time. Contributions to the book include essays by Hollywood historian Tony Thomas, film music historian Linda Danly, music journalist Gene Lees, and composer David Raskin. A wonderful collection that provides perspectives ranging from the personal to the critical on one of the most respected musical figures of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Linda Danly is a composer and film music historian. She teaches the history of film music at the University of Southern California. Other published writings include biographical essays on screen composers Herbert Stothart, Leigh Harline, and Fran Churchill for the American National Biography, Oxford University Press.