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Max Steiner

Maximilian Raoul Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian-born American music composer for theatre and films, as well as a conductor. He was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and became a full-time professional, either composing, arranging, or conducting, when he was fifteen.

Steiner worked in England, then Broadway, and in 1929 he moved to Hollywood, where he became one of the first composers to write music scores for films. He is referred to as "the father of film music", as Steiner played a major part in creating the tradition of writing music for films, along with composers Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, and Miklós Rózsa.

Steiner composed over 300 film scores with RKO Pictures and Warner Bros., and was nominated for 24 Academy Awards, winning three: The Informer (1935); Now, Voyager (1942); and Since You Went Away (1944). Besides his Oscar-winning scores, some of Steiner's popular works include King Kong (1933), Little Women (1933), Jezebel (1938), and Casablanca (1942), though he did not score its love theme, As Time Goes By. In addition, Steiner scored The Searchers (1956), A Summer Place (1959), and Gone with the Wind (1939), which ranked second on AFI's list of best American film scores, and the film score for which he is best known.

He was also the first recipient of the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, which he won for his score for Life with Father. Steiner was a frequent collaborator with some of the best known film directors in history, including Michael Curtiz, John Ford, and William Wyler, and scored many of the films with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Fred Astaire. Many of his film scores are available as separate soundtrack recordings.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 10th, 1888 (Vienna), Died December 28th, 1971 (Beverly Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1933 - 1943

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, conductor


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-78397 10-in. 11/8/1933 Buy a kiss Hotel Pierre Orchestra ; Henry King Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-78955 10-in. 1/10/1934 Carioca RKO Studio Orchestra ; Max Steiner Dubbed recording from film : Jazz/dance band conductor  
Victor 80007 10-in. 8/26/1935 A canção da fonte Francisco Alves Male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-010172 10-in. 5/14/1937 A star is born Buddy Clark ; Eddy Duchin Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-010507 10-in. 6/3/1937 A star is born Shep Fields ; Bobby Goday ; Rippling Rhythm Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-041558 10-in. 8/15/1939 Dust be my destiny Johnny Messner ; Music Box Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor PBS-061665 10-in. 9/17/1941 Symphonie moderne Jack Fina ; Freddy Martin Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with piano solo composer  
Victor D3AB-0077 10-in. 5/26/1943 It can't be wrong Four Vagabonds Male vocal quartet composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Steiner, Max," accessed November 29, 2021,

Steiner, Max. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from

"Steiner, Max." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 November 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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