Stamp of the Month: May 2022

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

The Austrian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold was born on May 29, 1897 in Brno, he died on November 29, 1957 in Los Angeles. May 2022 will be his 125th birthday.
Korngold was considered a musical prodigy in Vienna. As early as 1910, a ballet music by the 13-year-old was premiered at the Vienna Court Opera. Some of his early works were frequently performed by prominent conductors such as Bruno Walter,

USA 16.9.1999

Austria 31.3.1997 
Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Richard Strauss. Korngold’s operas “Der Ring des Polykrates”, “Violanta” (both 1916), “Die tote Stadt” (1920) and “Das Wunder der Heliane” (1927) were great successes and made him – alongside Richard Strauss – the most frequently performed opera composer in Germany and Austria. In 1934 he followed Max Reinhardt’s invitation to Hollywood to compose the film music for his film “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. With the work on this film, in which a symphony orchestra was used for the first time, he set new standards in the still young history of film music. Because of his Jewish heritage, he stayed in the United States and worked as a film composer for Warner Brothers. By 1946 he had composed the music for
19 films, of which “Anthony Adverse” (1936) and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938) each received an Oscar for the best film score.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold considered himself a representative of modern classicism. In addition to film music and six operas, his compositional output includes piano works, songs, orchestral and chamber music, choral works, incidental music and an operetta.

The video shows Jeffrey Schindler and the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute performing the overture to the 1940 film “The Sea Hawk” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The recording was made in 2010 during the final concert of the summer course at the University of Tasmania’s Conservatory of Music.