Frederick Loewe


Composer

About

Also Known As
Fritz Loewe
Birth Place
Berlin, DE
Born
June 10, 1901
Died
February 14, 1988
Cause of Death
Cardiac Arrest

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 a...

Family & Companions

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

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).

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.

Filmography

 

Music (Feature Film)

Breathe (2017)
Song
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
Song
What's Your Number? (2011)
Song
Valentine's Day (2010)
Song
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Song
The Lake House (2006)
Song
Confetti (2006)
Music Composer
50 First Dates (2004)
Song
The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)
Song ("There'S A Coach Comin' In")
Me, Myself and Irene (2000)
Song
Blast from the Past (1999)
Song ("On The Street Where You Live")
Antz (1998)
Song
Flubber (1997)
Song
Wag the Dog (1997)
Song
That's Entertainment! III (1994)
Music
My Father the Hero (1994)
Song
Forrest Gump (1994)
Song
Groundhog Day (1993)
Song
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
Song
Family Business (1989)
Song
Lost Angels (1989)
Song
The Little Prince (1974)
Music
Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Music
Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Composer
The Girl and the Bugler (1967)
Composer
Camelot (1967)
Composer
My Fair Lady (1964)
Composer
Gigi (1958)
Music
Gigi (1958)
Composer
Brigadoon (1954)
Composer

Cast (Special)

The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1985)

Writer (Special)

Brigadoon (1966)
Source Material

Music (Special)

From Broadway: Fosse (2002)
Music
Michael Crawford in Concert (1998)
Music ("On The Street Where You Live")
Great Performers at Lincoln Center: A Celebration of the American Musical (1997)
Music
Julie Andrews in Concert (1990)
Music
An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner (1989)
Music
Camelot (1982)
Music
Brigadoon (1966)
Music

Special Thanks (Special)

Brigadoon (1966)
Source Material

Life Events

1914

At 13 became youngest piano soloist to appear with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra

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

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"

Videos

Movie Clip

Gigi (1958) - The Night They Invented Champagne Leslie Caron (title character) has defeated (Louis Jourdan) at cards, whereupon he honors his bet, and they, with Madame Alvarez (Hermione Gingold) launch Lerner and Loewe's "The Night They Invented Champagne," in Gigi, 1958.
South Pacific (1958) - Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair Mitzi Gaynor as nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush, created in James Michener’s WWII stories, first seen on Broadway (Mary Martin) and given voice by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, directed on stage and screen by Joshua Logan, with a song that was Martin’s idea, shooting in Hawaii, and Rossano Brazzi her subject, in South Pacific, 1958.
Gigi (1958) - The Parisians Leslie Caron (title character) after her session training as a courtesan, launching into Lerner and Loewe's "The Parisians," tripping about the city in Vincente Minnelli's Gigi, 1958.
Gigi (1958) - Thank Heaven For Little Girls After the elaborate overture and opening, Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier) with the famous Lerner and Loewe number "Thank Heaven For Little Girls," from Vincente Minnelli's best picture winner Gigi, 1958.
My Fair Lady (1964) - Wouldn't It Be Loverly? Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle performs Wouldn't It Be Loverly? (vocal by Marni Nixon) early in the Best Picture-winning Lerner and Loewe musical, directed by George Cukor, My Fair Lady, 1964.
My Fair Lady (1964) - Opening, Overture The famous flower montage by director George Cukor, Andre Previn conducting the overture from the Lerner and Loewe score, opening My Fair Lady, 1964, starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.
My Fair Lady (1964) - The Rain in Spain Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn, vocal by Marni Nixon) demonstrates her improved elocution to Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), Wilfrid Hyde-White as Col. Pickering, in the Lerner and Loewe classic, The Rain In Spain, in My Fair Lady, 1964.
Camelot (1967) - C'est Moi Italian Franco Nero, who has a fine singing voice but who had little English at the time, and was thus dubbed by Gene Merlino, introduced here as Lancelot, in France, who hears the call of the England’s round table, and with the Lerner and Loewe song begins his journey, in Camelot, 1967.
Camelot (1967) - The Lusty Month Of May Still early in the romance, Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave), leads the company in a rollicking version of the up-tempo number from the hit Lerner and Loewe stage musical, directed by Joshua Logan and co-starring Richard Harris, in Camelot, 1967.
Camelot (1967) - How I Became King In the enchanted forest, just explaining how he became king, Arthur (Richard Harris) wins over Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave), with whom he finishes the title tune before their wedding, in Lerner and Loewe's Camelot, 1967.
Camelot (1967) - How To Handle A Woman Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave) exits having baffled her husband King Arthur (Richard Harris), who offers Lerner and Loewe's How To Handle A Woman, in director Joshua Logan's Camelot, 1967.
Gigi (1958) - She Is Not Thinking Of Me First Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier) in person, then Gaston (Louis Jourdan), voiced-over, with the Lerner and Loewe songs "Gossip," then "She Is Not Thinking Of Me," in Vincente Minnelli's Gigi, 1958.

Trailer

Family

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

Companions

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

Bibliography

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.