Irwin Kostal

Active - 1961 - 1977  |   Born - Oct 1, 1911   |   Died - Nov 30, 1994   |   Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy, Musical

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Irwin Kostal launched his career on radio and then made a name for himself arranging music for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows between 1950 and 1955. He went on to become one of Hollywood's most distinguished conductors and orchestrators of both feature films and television programs. Kostal earned the first of two Oscars in 1962 for orchestrating and supervising Leonard Bernstein's score for West Side Story. The second Academy Award came after he orchestrated and conducted The Sound of Music (1965). The soundtrack album for this film also earned Kostal a Grammy. Kostal would be nominated for the Oscar four more times for Mary Poppins (1964), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), Pete's Dragon (1977), and for the restored version of Fantasia (re-released in 1990). While working on The Garry Moore Show between the late '50s and early '60s, Kostal won an Emmy for his arrangements and conducting. He was awarded two more Emmys for conducting on The Julie Andrews Show and for the musical direction on the musical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1973). In addition to his work on the big screen and television, Kostal also occasionally worked on Broadway.

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