Victor Young

Active - 1935 - 2018  |   Born - Aug 8, 1901   |   Died - Nov 11, 1956   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Western, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

During his 20-year Hollywood career, American composer Victor Young wrote the scores to over 300 films. For the first three decades of his life, he was best known as a concert violinist. A child prodigy, Young was born in Chicago and raised in Poland, where he studied at the Warsaw Conservatory and made his debut with the Warsaw Philharmonic. At age 20, Young was appointed musical director of the Balaban & Katz theater chain, supervising live orchestrations for silent films. With 1936's Anything Goes, Young launched his career with the Paramount music department, where he would remain until his death in 1956. Outside of such Paramount projects as The Light That Failed (1939), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Love Letters (1945), and The Greatest Show on Earth (1953), Young worked for Columbia (Golden Boy [1939]), Sam Goldwyn (My Foolish Heart [1949]), Republic (The Quiet Man [1953]), and Mike Todd Sr. (Around the World in 80 Days [1956]). He earned 20 Oscar nominations during his lifetime, and won for Around the World in 80 Days. Among the many Victor Young compositions which became popular hits were "Sweet Sue," "Love Me Tonight," and "Stella by Starlight" (from 1943's The Uninvited).

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