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Elmer Bernstein Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Ojai, California, USA  (cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Elmer Bernstein was educated at the Walden School and New York University. He served in the US Army Air Corps in World War II. A prolific and respected film music composer, he was a protégé of Aaron Copland, who studied music with Roger Sessions and Stefan Wolpe. Bernstein worked in various artistic endeavors, including painting and the theatre and also performed as an actor and dancer. Among his early composition work were scores for United Nations radio programs and television and industrial documentaries. His original scores for films range over an enormous variety of styles, with his groundbreaking jazz score for The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), light musical comedies such as his Oscar-winning Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) score, and perhaps his most familiar score, for the western The Magnificent Seven (1960).

A few years before before his death, he acquired something of a cult status among fans of English football when his familiar main theme for The Great Escape (1963) was adopted by them and hummed and played, lustily, during matches.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net> (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (2)

Eve Adamson (25 October 1965 - 18 August 2004) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Pearl Glusman (21 December 1946 - 1965) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (15)

Father of Peter Bernstein, Emilie A. Bernstein, writer Gregory Bernstein and Elizabeth Bernstein.
He was conductor for one season of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra. It is generally considered to be that orchestra's most successful season and that it showed Bernstein to be a very capable conductor. The orchestra was made up of some of the finest musicians in the country, including moonlighting members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and studio musicians. Highlights of the programs included, of course, some of Bernstein's own film scores. Since then, he helped to found Varese Sarabande Records, whose best recordings are of his film scores, but the label also presents music by other composers such as Miklós Rózsa.
In 1953, he was doing scores for such notorious ultra-low-budget films as the infamous Robot Monster (1953) and Cat-Women of the Moon (1953). Only three years later, he was doing the score for Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956).
He was nominated for Academy Awards 14 times but won only once, ironically for one of his less acclaimed scores - Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967).
Father-in-law of Sara Bernstein.
Following his death, his family has requested that, in lieu of flowers or other remembrances, a charitable donation be sent to:

Young Musicians Foundation 195 South Beverly Drive, #415 Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

A special scholarship fund will be established in his name. Since 1955, Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) has provided encouragement and recognition to gifted young musicians from around the country through financial assistance, performance opportunities, and music education programs.
Was nominated for three Tony Awards: two in 1968 for "How Now, Dow Jones". as Best Composer and Lyricist, with his collaborator Carolyn Leigh, and for his music as part of a Best Musical nomination; and in 1983 for "Merlin", as Best Score, his music with lyrics by Don Black.
He is the only individual to be nominated for an Academy Award in each of the last six decades: the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 35-37. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Bernstein wrote unused scores for Last Man Standing (1996), The Journey of Natty Gann (1985), The Scarlet Letter (1995) and Gangs of New York (2002). All have been released on CD.
In his scores, especially in the 1980s, he often used the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument, invented in France in 1928. Its ethereal singing sound can be prominently heard, for example, on My Left Foot (1989) and Ghostbusters (1984).
Vice-President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) from 1963 - 1969.
During World War II, he arranged musical numbers for Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band.
Before settling on a musical career, he trained as a dancer, actor and painter.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 28, 1996.

Personal Quotes (1)

I would say that the work on The Ten Commandments (1956) was singularly the most exciting project of my entire life.

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