Victor young (1899-1956), composer

Albert Victor Young (August 8, 1899 – November 10, 1956) was an American composer, arranger, violinist and conductor.

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Victor Young (Chicago, 1900 – Los Angeles, 1956) American musician who stood out for his work in film as a soundtrack composer. Considered one of the most influential musicians in Hollywood, Victor Young came to the world of cinema after absolutely bizarre beginnings.

As he was the son of Polish emigrants and mastered the language of his parents, they decided to send him to Europe, thinking about his early musical education. He studied at the Warsaw Conservatory and soon demonstrated great musical gifts, surprising his teachers, who witnessed a brilliant career that led him in his teens to be the first violinist of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

Until that moment, his career did not suffer any setbacks; but, in 1917, he agreed to go on a concert tour in Russia, in full revolutionary euphoria. Security guarantees were minimal and he, in fact, was arrested.

Everything raised fears for his personal integrity when a Bolshevik officer, admired by his talent, planned the escape of Young, who seemed to be touched by bad luck, because shortly after outwitting the Russian authorities, he was arrested again, this time to Germany. , a country where his presence was not appropriate either. Once again, it was his talent as a violinist that helped him leave prison and head to the United States.

After the busy European journey, Young decided to settle in Los Angeles, where he gained fame as a violinist. Attracted by the world of cinema, he tries his luck in the orchestra that Paramount has on staff to perform the soundtracks of its productions. To everyone’s surprise, Young began to compose and arrange scores, and he did it with such ease that he has gone down in film history as one of the most prolific musicians.

On radio, he was the musical director of The Old Gold Don Ameche Show and Harvest of Stars. He was a musical director for many of Bing Crosby’s recordings for the American branch of Decca Records.

For Decca, he also conducted the first album of songs from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, a sort of “pre-soundtrack” cover version rather than a true soundtrack album. The album featured Judy Garland and the Ken Darby Singers singing songs from the film in Young’s own arrangements. Young often collaborated with Ken Darby and the Singers for radio programs starring the popular Met Opera baritone John Charles Thomsen. He also composed the music for several Decca spoken word albums.

He received 22 Academy Award nominations for his work in film, twice being nominated four times in a single year, but he did not win during his lifetime.

Victor Young received his only Oscar posthumously for his score of Around the World in Eighty Days (1956). Harold Adamson wrote the lyrics to Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Todd’s blessing.

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Adamson could not be nominated, for the words were written two weeks before Oscar night and the votes were in. Yet, theaters around the country played the lyrics at intermission.

Thus, Victor Young holds the record for most Oscar nominations before winning the first award. His other nominated scores include Anything Goes (1936), The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936), Artists and Models (1937), The Gladiator (1938), Golden Boy (1939), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), The Uninvited (1944), Love Letters (1945), So Evil My Love (1948), The Emperor Waltz (1948), The Paleface (1948), Samson and Delilah (1949), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949), Our Very Own (1950), September Affair (1950), My Favorite Spy (1951), Payment on Demand (1951), The Quiet Man (1952), Scaramouche (1952), Something to Live For (1952), Shane (1953), The Country Girl (1954), A Man Alone (1955), The Conqueror (1956) and The Maverick Queen (1956).

He contributed two-tone poems, “White” and “Black”, to the 1956 album Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color.

His last scores were for the 1957 films Omar Khayyam, Run of the Arrow and China Gate, which were released after his death. The last was left unfinished at the time of his death and was finished by his long-time friend Max Steiner.

“The Call of the Faraway Hills”, which Young had composed for the film Shane, was also used as the theme for the U.S. television series Shane. Young won a Primetime Emmy Award for his scoring of the TV special Light’s Diamond Jubilee, which aired on all four American TV networks on October 24, 1954.

As an occasional bit player, Young can be glimpsed briefly in The Country Girl (1954) playing a recording studio leader conducting Bing Crosby while he tapes “The Search is Through (You’ve Got What It Takes).”

sheet music download victor young

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

YearFilmCategoryResult
1939Breaking the IceBest Original ScoreNominated
Army GirlBest Original ScoreNominated
1940Man of ConquestBest Original ScoreNominated
Gulliver’s TravelsBest Original ScoreNominated
Golden BoyBest Original ScoreNominated
Way Down SouthBest Music (Scoring)Nominated
1941North West Mounted PoliceBest Original ScoreNominated
Dark CommandBest Original ScoreNominated
ArizonaBest Original ScoreNominated
Arise, My LoveBest Music, ScoreNominated
1942Hold Back the DawnBest Scoring of a Dramatic PictureNominated
1943Take a Letter, DarlingBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
Silver QueenBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
Flying TigersBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1944For Whom the Bell TollsBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1946Love LettersBest Original Song for “Love Letters” (shared with Edward Heyman)Nominated
Love LettersBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1949The Emperor WaltzBest Scoring of a Musical PictureNominated
1950My Foolish HeartBest Original Song for “My Foolish Heart” (shared with Ned Washington)Nominated
1951Samson and DelilahBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1957Around the World in 80 DaysBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureWon
Written on the WindBest Original Song for “Written on the Wind” (shared with Sammy Cahn)Nominated YearFilm
1939Breaking the IceBest Original ScoreNominated
Army GirlBest Original ScoreNominated
1940Man of ConquestBest Original ScoreNominated
Gulliver’s TravelsBest Original ScoreNominated
Golden BoyBest Original ScoreNominated
Way Down SouthBest Music (Scoring)Nominated
1941North West Mounted PoliceBest Original ScoreNominated
Dark CommandBest Original ScoreNominated
ArizonaBest Original ScoreNominated
Arise, My LoveBest Music, ScoreNominated
1942Hold Back the DawnBest Scoring of a Dramatic PictureNominated
1943Take a Letter, DarlingBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
Silver QueenBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
Flying TigersBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1944For Whom the Bell TollsBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1946Love LettersBest Original Song for “Love Letters” (shared with Edward Heyman)Nominated
Love LettersBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1949The Emperor WaltzBest Scoring of a Musical PictureNominated
1950My Foolish HeartBest Original Song for “My Foolish Heart” (shared with Ned Washington)Nominated
1951Samson and DelilahBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureNominated
1957Around the World in 80 DaysBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureWon
Written on the WindBest Original Song for “Written on the Wind” (shared with Sammy Cahn)Nominated

Golden Globes

YearFilmCategoryResult
1952September AffairBest Original ScoreWon
1953The Quiet ManBest Original ScoreNominated

Primetime Emmy Awards

YearProjectCategoryResult
1955Light’s Diamond JubileeBest Scoring of a Dramatic or Variety ProgramWon
MedicBest Original Music Composed for TVNominated
Light’s Diamond JubileeBest Original Music Composed for TVNominated

Victor Young – Speak To Me Of Love

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