film industry’s most respected composer, Elmer Bernstein, celebrates his 80th
birthday at a very special concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 9 October 2002.
by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernstein will conduct the music from his
many film and television scores that has earned him Oscar nominations and a
name that can be found in the credits of Hollywood’s best films.
year was an auspicious milestone for Bernstein, as it marked his 50th
anniversary as a feature-film composer of over 200 major film and television
scores. Recognised with countless awards for his work in film, television,
stage and audio recording, Bernstein is a thirteen-time Academy Award nominee,
winning the award in 1976 for his score for Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Other nominated scores include The Man with the Golden Arm, The
Magnificent Seven, Summer and Smoke, To Kill a Mockingbird, The
Return of the Seven, Hawaii, True Grit, Trading Places, and The Age of
Innocence. His Oscar nominated songs include Walk on the Wild Side,
My Wishing Doll and Wherever Love Takes Me.
has also received five Grammy nominations from the National Academy of
Recording Arts, garnered two of Broadway’s coveted Tony Award nominations and
was awarded an Emmy in 1963. Additional honours include Lifetime Achievement
Awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle, American Society of Composers,
ASCAP, The Society for the Preservation of Film Music, the USA Film Festival,
the Foundation for a Creative America and the Flanders International Film
Festival. In 1996 Bernstein was honoured with a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
first made his mark as a film composer with his innovative score for The Man
with the Golden Arm, the first all-jazz score for a motion picture. This
work is credited with virtually changing the sound of American film music,
creating new colours and tones for a whole generation of composers who would
follow him. His music went on to create another new trend when the score for The
Magnificent Seven defined the sound of the Western. During the 60s and 70s
he scored the last seven films of John Wayne including True Grit.
kept breaking new ground scoring some of the biggest blockbuster comedies of
the 70s and 80s including Animal House, Airplane!, Ghostbusters
and Three Amigos.
then sought out independent films which were significant in their messages and
character portrayals and his scores included My Left Foot, Da! and
has worked with the most innovative top directors including Jim Sheridan (My
Left Foot), Stephen Frears (The Grifters), Francis Ford Coppola (The
Rainmaker) John Landis (American Werewolf in London), Edward Norton
(Keeping the Faith) and Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence, Bringing
Out the Dead)
is currently working on his sixth film with Scorsese, scoring the music for the
forthcoming film Gangs of New York a film about Irish immigrants
arriving in 19th-Century New York City and due to be released later
this year. Martin Scorsese has said of working with Elmer Bernstein – ‘Elmer
is part of the pantheon of great film composers. He’s without equal and I’m honoured
to be working with him. He’s the best there is the very best.’
addition to his work in film, theatre and TV, Bernstein has composed numerous
pieces for the concert hall including two song cycles, three suites for
symphony orchestra, a guitar concerto and compositions for viola and piano.
in his 80th year, Elmer Bernstein has no plans to retire but will continue to
grace virtually all creative media with his work, as he as done for the past
half century. When not working he spends his time at one of his three homes in
Santa Barbara, Woodstock N.Y. and his 14th century house in Warwick, England.
are available from the Royal Albert Hall on 020 7589 8212 / www.royalalberthall.com