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February 2014
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Oscars Week: Movie Music on WFMT


The score to a film makes a lasting impression, often lingering in the mind long after the plot begins to fade. How well people remember the music to Dr. Zhivago, The Bridge Over the River Kwai or Psycho.

Q. Can you think of a famous conductor who’s won four Oscars for Best Original Score?

A. André Previn


Being a film composer is an exclusive club. Over the history of the Academy Awards, there are a fair number of composers who’ve won more than one. It’s also interesting to note that of all the popular composers of concert music since the advent of film, almost none of them have won Oscars. John Corigliano (The Red Violin), Malcolm Arnold (The Bridge Over the River Kwai), and Aaron Copland (The Heiress) managed to do it. Tan Dun has had great success in both the concert and film arenas.

Q. What is your all-time favorite film score?

As for film composers wishing to make the leap into the concert world, that is difficult as well. John Williams mixes his concert works with film scores when he comes to the CSO. Erich Wolfgang Korngold always thought of himself as a composer of serious concert music, but lived out his career in Hollywood—writing for film got him out of Austria in 1938. Posthumously, Korngold as a composer of concert works is experiencing a revival.

John Williams scores Raiders of the Lost Ark

John Williams scores Raiders of the Lost Ark


Q. What concert pieces have you heard by famous film composers?

On Sunday morning at 8:00 AM, Candice Agree presents an expanded program of film music. She’ll play some past winners, plus some listener favorites.


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