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Frederick Loewe

Frederick Loewe

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Also Known As: Fritz Loewe Died: February 14, 1988
Born: June 10, 1901 Cause of Death: cardiac arrest
Birth Place: Berlin, DE Profession: composer, pianist, prizefighter, mail carrier, gold prospector, riding instructor, busboy, cow puncher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

German-born composer of Viennese ancestry and musical sensibility, who, after a concert career as a European piano prodigy, arrived in New York in 1924 and supported himself in a variety of odd jobs before breaking into Broadway songwriting in 1935. A chance encounter with Alan Jay Lerner in 1942 marked the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration that brought a romantic lyricism and sophisticated polish to the post-war American musical and resulted in a string of elegant, literate Broadway hits: "Brigadoon" (1947), "Paint Your Wagon" (1951), "My Fair Lady" (1955) and "Camelot" (1960) all of which were adapted to film by Lerner.In 1958 Lerner and Loewe wrote their first original screen musical, the nine Oscar-winner, "Gigi", and in 1974 collaborated on one last original film musical, "The Little Prince" before Loewe's final retirement.

German-born composer of Viennese ancestry and musical sensibility, who, after a concert career as a European piano prodigy, arrived in New York in 1924 and supported himself in a variety of odd jobs before breaking into Broadway songwriting in 1935. A chance encounter with Alan Jay Lerner in 1942 marked the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration that brought a romantic lyricism and sophisticated polish to the post-war American musical and resulted in a string of elegant, literate Broadway hits: "Brigadoon" (1947), "Paint Your Wagon" (1951), "My Fair Lady" (1955) and "Camelot" (1960) all of which were adapted to film by Lerner.

In 1958 Lerner and Loewe wrote their first original screen musical, the nine Oscar-winner, "Gigi", and in 1974 collaborated on one last original film musical, "The Little Prince" before Loewe's final retirement.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Piano prodigy by age four
1914:
At 13 became youngest piano soloist to appear with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra
:
Began composing songs at a young age; wrote tunes for a music hall sketch in which his father toured Germany
1917:
Wrote the music for "Katrina", a popular hit song in Europe at age 15
1924:
Moved to the US; performed a Town Hall and the Rivoli Theatre; failed to achieve success because of tenuous command of English language and fact his musical sensibility was not "American" enough
:
Took odd jobs to support self including as busboy, riding instructor, prizefighter; went out West and worked as cow puncher, gold prospector and mail carrier
:
Moved back to NY and played piano in beer halls and the organ at movie theaters
1935:
Joined Lambs Club in NY and sold first song to Broadway: "Love Tiptoed Through My Heart", sung by Dennis King in "Petticoat Fever"
1937:
Wrote first full score, "Salute to Spring" for summer pageant at the Municipal Opera, St Louis
1938:
Composed first Broadway score, "Great Lady" (with lyrics by Earle Crooker), which ran only 20 performances
1942:
Met Alan Jay Lerner at the Lambs Club; first collaboration "Life of the Party" which debuted in Detroit, MI
1943:
Collaborated on first Broadway show with Lerner, "What's Up?"
1947:
Wrote first hit Broadway musical with Lerner, "Brigadoon"
1958:
Suffered a massive heart attack before the London opening of "My Fair Lady"
1958:
Collaborated with Lerner on first original movie score, "Gigi"
1960:
Produced first Broadway musical, "Camelot" (also composed score)
1960:
Entered semi-retirement after Broadway production of "Camelot"
1973:
Reuinted with Lerner to write four new songs for a Broadway stage production of "Gigi"
1974:
Wrote final score for the film musical, "The Little Prince"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Berlin Military Academy: -
Stern's Conservatory: -

Notes

"I was always amazed how good we were and how simple it was." --Frederick Loewe's message which was read at the memorial tribute to Alan Jay Lerner in 1986.

He was awarded the Hollander Medal (1923).

Awarded honorary doctorate in music from the University of Redlands and a D.F.Aa. from NYU.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ernestine Zwerline. Married in 1931; divorced in 1957.
companion:
Francine Greshler. Forty years his junior; together from c. 1974 until his death.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Edmund Loewe. Opera singer. Viennese tenor who created the role of Prince Danilo in "The Merry Widow" in 1906.
mother:
Rose Loewe. Actor.

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