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Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann

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Also Known As: Died: December 24, 1975
Born: June 29, 1911 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: composer, conductor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Preeminent film composer brought to Hollywood by Orson Welles and subsequently renowned for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. Herrmann had scored many of Welles' radio shows before making the move west for "Citizen Kane" (1941), which immediately placed him in the front rank of film composers. In contrast to the prevailing Hollywood style, Herrmann's scores moved away from full, lush arrangements to smaller, often unorthodox orchestration. Equally innovative was his use of brief, easily recognizable themes in place of lengthier melodies. Of Herrmann's many collaborations with Hitchcock, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956)--in which he appears as the conductor--"Vertigo" (1958) and "Psycho" (1960) stand out. His other outstanding credits include "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941)--which beat out his "Kane" score for the Oscar--"The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" (1958), Francois Truffaut's "The Bride Wore Black" (1968) and Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976).

Preeminent film composer brought to Hollywood by Orson Welles and subsequently renowned for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. Herrmann had scored many of Welles' radio shows before making the move west for "Citizen Kane" (1941), which immediately placed him in the front rank of film composers. In contrast to the prevailing Hollywood style, Herrmann's scores moved away from full, lush arrangements to smaller, often unorthodox orchestration. Equally innovative was his use of brief, easily recognizable themes in place of lengthier melodies.

Of Herrmann's many collaborations with Hitchcock, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956)--in which he appears as the conductor--"Vertigo" (1958) and "Psycho" (1960) stand out. His other outstanding credits include "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941)--which beat out his "Kane" score for the Oscar--"The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" (1958), Francois Truffaut's "The Bride Wore Black" (1968) and Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1931:
Founded and conducted New Chamber Orchestra
:
Guest conductor, New York Philaharmonic, BBC Symphony
:
Staff conductor, CBS

Education

DeWitt Clinton High School: New York , New York -
New York University: New York , New York -
The Juilliard School: New York , New York -

Notes

One of six motion picture composers honored with a postage stamp in 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lucille Fletcher. Author, playwright. Divorced; died on August 31, 2000 at age 88.
wife:
Lucy Anderson. Nurse. Divorced.
wife:
Norma Shepherd. Survived him.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Dorothy Herrmann. Writer.
daughter:
Wendy Herrmann.

Bibliography close complete biography

"A Heart at Fire's Center--The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann" University of California Press

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