Alex North

Composer
Composer of ballets, symphonies and stage music whose work on Elia Kazan's Broadway production of "Death of a Salesman" moved the director to bring him to Hollywood to compose the score for "A Streetcar Named Desire" ... Read more »
Born: 12/04/1910 in Chester, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Music (78)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2011 (Movie)

("Genesis") (Song)

Valentine's Day 2010 (Movie)

("The Truth Hurts") (Song)

Planet 51 2009 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

My Best Friend's Girl 2008 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

Happy Feet 2006 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

Home Fries 1998 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

The Devil's Own 1997 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

The Last Butterfly 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear 1991 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

Ghost 1990 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

The Penitent 1988 (Movie)

(Music)

Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 (Movie)

(Music)

The Dead 1987 (Movie)

(Music)

John Huston & The Dubliners 1986 (Movie)

(Music)

Prizzi's Honor 1985 (Movie)

(Music)

Under the Volcano 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Baby It's You 1983 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

Sister, Sister 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Music

Carny 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

Dragonslayer 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

The Word 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Music

Wise Blood 1979 (Movie)

music director (Music)

Somebody Killed Her Husband 1978 (Movie)

(Music)

Rich Man, Poor Man: Book II 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Music

Bite the Bullet 1975 (Movie)

(Music)

Journey Into Fear 1975 (Movie)

(Music)

The Passover Plot 1975 (Movie)

(Music)

Lost in the Stars 1973 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)

Shanks 1973 (Movie)

(Music)

Once Upon a Scoundrel 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

Pocket Money 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

The Man and the City 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Music

Willard 1970 (Movie)

(Music)

A Dream of Kings 1969 (Movie)

(Music)

Hard Contract 1969 (Movie)

(Music)

The Devil's Brigade 1968 (Movie)

(Music)

The Shoes of the Fisherman 1968 (Movie)

(Music)

The Long Hot Summer 1965 - 1966 (TV Show)

Theme Music

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? 1966 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? 1966 (Movie)

(Music)

The Agony and the Ecstasy 1965 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

The Agony and the Ecstasy 1965 (Movie)

(Music)

Cheyenne Autumn 1964 (Movie)

(Music)

Cleopatra 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

Cleopatra 1963 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

The Outrage 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

All Fall Down 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

Sanctuary 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

The Children's Hour 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

The Misfits 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

Spartacus 1960 (Movie)

music composer and conductor (Music)

The Sound and the Fury 1959 (Movie)

(Music)

Hot Spell 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

Stage Struck 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

The Long, Hot Summer 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

The Long, Hot Summer 1958 (Movie)

("The Long Hot Summer") (Song)

The Wonderful Country 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

The Wonderful Country 1958 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

The Bad Seed 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

The King and Four Queens 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

The Rainmaker 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

Daddy Long Legs 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

I'll Cry Tomorrow 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

The Rose Tattoo 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

Unchained 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

Unchained 1955 (Movie)

("Unchained Melody") (Song)

Desiree 1954 (Movie)

(Music)

Go, Man, Go! 1954 (Movie)

(Music)

The Racers 1954 (Movie)

("I Belong To You") (Song)

The Racers 1954 (Movie)

(Music)

Viva Zapata! 1952 (Movie)

(Music)

Death of a Salesman 1951 (Movie)

(Music)

A Streetcar Named Desire 1950 (Movie)

(Music)

The 13th Letter 1950 (Movie)

(Music)

Death of a Salesman (TV Show)

Music

Pony Soldier (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Rich Man, Poor Man (TV Show)

Music

The Member of the Wedding (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))
Actor (1)

The 58th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Composer of ballets, symphonies and stage music whose work on Elia Kazan's Broadway production of "Death of a Salesman" moved the director to bring him to Hollywood to compose the score for "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951). Lyrical and jazz-influenced, the score earned North the first of 15 Oscar nominations (he never won) and introduced the sparer, more economic style of orchestration that eventually displaced the lusher scores of the 1930s and 40s.

Relationships

Bela North

Mother

Elissa North

Daughter

Dylan North

Son

Steven North

Son

Abe North

Brother

Harry North

Brother

Annemarie Hollger

Wife
married on March 27, 1940

Jesse North

Father

EDUCATION

Curtis Institute of Music

Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 1928 - 1929

The Juilliard School

New York , New York 1932 - 1934

studied under composers Aaron Copland and Ernst Toch

Moscow Conservatory of Music

1933 - 1935

Milestones

1985

Wrote score for Volker Schlondorff's TV film of Dustin Hoffman's "Death of a Salesman"

1955

Continued writing documentary, dance and theater scores in New York until his moved to Hollywood

1951

Went to Hollywood to score first film for Elia Kazan, "A Streetcar Named Desire"

1948

Wrote music for Broadway stage production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"

Served in US Army during WWII; created musical programs for hospitals and composed music for the Office of War Information documentaries including "A Better Tomorrow" (1945)

Scored documentary films including "China Strikes Back" (1936), "Heart of Spain" and "The People of the Cumberland" (both 1937), the latter (a short about Pennsylvania miners) was his first collaboration with Elia Kazan

Wrote scores for the Federal Theater project and conducted concerts in Mexico in the late-1930s

Bonus Trivia

.

North, art director Roland Anderson and sound technician Kevin O'Connell all hold the dubious distinction of being the individuals who received the most Academy Award nominations, 15, without winning. In 1985, North was awarded an honorary Oscar.

.

"My big influence in life was probably Duke Ellington, in terms of the way he used jazz. I was also inspired by the late Russian and French composers--Prokofiev, Ravel, Debussy." --Alex North in 1986 interview, quoted in his The New York Times obituary, September 11, 1991.

.

North composed ballets for Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille and Anna Sokolow including "American Lyric" (1937), "Daddy Long Legs", "Mal de siecle", and "Wall Street Ballet". He wrote the opera "Hither and Thither of Danny Dither" and the "Rhapsody for piano and orchestra" (1941). His "Revue for Clarinet and Orchestra", commissioned by Benny Goodman, premiered by Goodman and Leonard Bernstein with the New York City Symphony in 1946. North wrote three symphonies (in 1947, 1968, and 1971), three symphonic suites from film scores, "Holiday Set" (1948) and cantatas for chorus and orchestra ("Morning Star" 1947, based on the Nuremberg Trials and "Negro Mother" 1948 in collaboration with Langston Hughes).

.

Received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1947 and 1948)

.

Given the 1975-76 Heritage Wrangler Award for "Bite the Bullet" (1975).

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