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Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (May 29, 1897 – November 29, 1957) was an Austrian-born American composer and conductor. A child prodigy, he became one of the most important and influential composers in Hollywood history. He was a noted pianist and composer of classical music, along with music for Hollywood films, and the first composer of international stature to write Hollywood scores.

When he was 11, his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman), became a sensation in Vienna, followed by his Second Piano Sonata, which he wrote at age 13, played throughout Europe by Artur Schnabel. His one-act operas Violanta and Der Ring des Polykrates were premiered in Munich in 1916, conducted by Bruno Walter. At 23, his opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) premiered in Hamburg and Cologne. In 1921 he conducted the Hamburg Opera. During the 1920s he re-orchestrated, re-arranged and nearly re-composed several operettas by Johann Strauss II. By 1931 he was a professor of music at the Vienna State Academy.

At the request of motion picture director Max Reinhardt, and due to the rise of the Nazi regime, Korngold moved to Hollywood in 1934 to write music scores for films. His first was Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935). He subsequently wrote scores for such films as Captain Blood (1935), which helped boost the career of its starring newcomer, Errol Flynn. His score for Anthony Adverse (1936) won an Oscar and was followed two years later with another Oscar for The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

Overall, he wrote the score for 16 Hollywood films, receiving two more nominations. Along with Max Steiner and Alfred Newman, he is one of the founders of film music. Although his late classical Romantic compositions were no longer as popular when he died in 1957, his music underwent a resurgence of interest in the 1970s beginning with the release of the RCA Red Seal album The Sea Hawk: the Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1972). This album, produced by his son George Korngold, was hugely popular and ignited interest in other film music of his and of other composers like Steiner and in his concert music, which often incorporated popular themes from his film scores (an example being the Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35, which incorporated his themes from four different motion picture scores and is a part of the standard repertoire).

Birth and Death Data: Born May 29, 1897 (Brno), Died November 29, 1957 (Hollywood)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1947

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, conductor

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-26149 10-in. 3/8/1922 Lautenlied der Marietta Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with harp and orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-26149 10-in. 1/26/1927 Lautenlied der Marietta Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-29851 10-in. 3/28/1924 Pierrot's dance song Fritz Kreisler Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor BS-101178 10-in. 4/3/1936 I mean to say I love you Alexander Smallens ; Gladys Swarthout Mezzo-soprano solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BS-068103 10-in. 10/22/1941 You haunt my heart Lanny Ross Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Victor D7VB-1511 10-in. 8/12/1947 Love for love Vaughn Monroe ; Vaughn Monroe's Orchestra Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Gramophone 0B6054 10-in. 2/21/1934 Holzapfel und Schlehwein Jascha Heifetz ; Arpad Sandor Violin and piano duo composer  
Decca 72148 10-in. 5/21/1944 Tomorrow, part 1 Artists vary composer, conductor  
Decca 72149 10-in. 5/21/1944 Tomorrow, part 2 Artists vary composer, conductor  
Decca BE9700 10-in. 1/5/1932 Tales from the Vienna woods Richard Tauber conductor  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Korngold, Erich Wolfgang," accessed May 26, 2024,

Korngold, Erich Wolfgang. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from

"Korngold, Erich Wolfgang." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024.

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