As with many of the best film music composers, Georges Auric was a child prodigy. At 15, the French-born Auric published his first compositions, and before he was 20 he had orchestrated and written incidental music for several ballets and stage productions. Considered "avant garde" in the days before atonality became commonplace, Auric was a favorite of such progressive filmmakers as Rene Clair and Jean Cocteau. It was for Cocteau's 1930 film Blood of a Poet that Auric wrote his first film score; his next assignment was Clair's A Nous a Liberte (1931), in which characters unexpectedly break into song at the drop of a chapeau. After the war, Auric wrote extensively for the British film industry, contributing scores to such films as Dead of Night (1945), Caesar and Cleopatra (1946) and Passport to Pimlico (1949). The music for these productions was as distinctly British as Auric's music for Les Parents Terribles (1949) and Orphee (1949) was unmistakably French. Auric's American films include Roman Holiday (1953), Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957), Bonjour Tristesse (1958) and The Innocents (1961). A few times, Auric found his work on the hit parade, as in the case of his love theme for Moulin Rouge (1952). Auric curtailed his cinema activities after 1962, when he was named director of the Paris Opera, though he kept his hand in the film business until 1969. While Georges Auric never won an Oscar, his work was cited several times by the Cannes Film Festival.