Fred Steiner (1923 - 2011)
 
A very dear friend (and hero) of mine, composer Fred Steiner, passed away this past June at the age of 88. You may not recognize the name, but I am sure you've heard of his music:
 
"Perry Mason"
"Rocky and Bullwinkle"
"Star Trek"
 
and dozens of other TV shows and movies throughout the 1950s - 1980s.
 
Fred and his wife Shirley had lived in Santa Fe for the past couple of decades, but had recently been living in Mexico. At the time of his death, he was working on a new and exhaustive biography (600 pages and counting) of Alfred Newman, (another composer, probably most familiar by way of the 20th Century Fox Fanfare) and on whom Fred did his doctoral dissertation. I was very fortunate to know and work with Fred over the past 11 years as both a colleague and as his personal copyist and music engraver. He possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of music, (in particular, film music and its history) and whenever we would get together, I would sit in awe as he related stories of his experiences.
 
He will be missed, but his music will live on. Next time you see an old movie or show on television, check the credits - it's a good bet you'll see his name.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011