Austrian-born US composer and pianist. After an early modernist phase most of his music was neoclassical in spirit. He is remembered chiefly for his chamber music, symphonies, and film scores
He studied medicine and philosophy at first and was self-taught in music, but in 1909 was awarded the Frankfurt Mozart prize and studied there under Willy Rehberg, being appointed piano professor at the Mannheim Hochschule für Musik in 1913. He served in World War I, and settled in Berlin in 1929, but emigrated in 1932, going first to the USA, then to London, and settling permanently in the USA in 1934. After teaching in New York for two years, he moved to Hollywood as a film composer and teacher.
WorksOpera and stage operas Wegwende (1925), Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse (1927), Egon und Emilie (1928), Der Fächer (1930); incidental music for Euripides' Bacchantes, Shakespeare's As You Like It, Zweig's Die Heilige aus USA, and other plays.
Music for radio and film radio play The Garden of Jade and others; film music for Catherine the Great, The Private Life of Don Juan, and others.
Choral Passover Service (1938); cantata Das Wasser (1930); Der Tierkreis for unaccompanied chorus.
Orchestral seven symphonies (1949–64), Bunte Suite, Kleine Theater Suite, Big Ben, Pinocchio overture (after Collodi's story) for orchestra; Spiel for wind band; concerto (1926) and symphony for piano and orchestra.
ChamberPoems to Martha for baritone and strings; 13 string quartets (1902–53), piano quintet, string trio, divertimento for violin and viola; two violin and piano sonatas; sonata, 50 studies, and about 12 Op. nos. of piano pieces.