Rosenman, Leonard 1924–

views updated May 11 2018

ROSENMAN, Leonard 1924


Born September 7, 1924, in Brooklyn, NY; son of a store owner; married; wife's name, Kay. Education: Attended University of California, Berkeley; studied piano with Julius Herford and Bernard Abramowitsch; studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg, Roger Sessions, and Luigi Dallapiccola.

Addresses: Contact c/o Dworkin and Associates, P.O. Box 248, Bedford Hills, NY 105070248.

Career: Composer, conductor, and educator. Piano teacher in New York City during the 1950s; conductor in Rome, Italy, c. 196266; University of Southern California, instructor; Tanglewood, composer in residence; guest lecturer at other institutions, including California Institute of the Arts, Claremont College, Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, New School for Social Research, Smith College, University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, and Yale University. New Muse (chamber orchestra), musical director; also conducted performances of London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and Santa Cecelia Orchestra. Also worked as a painter. Military service: U.S. Army Air Forces, served during World War II.

Member: International Society for Contemporary Music (member of board of directors).

Awards, Honors: Margaret Lee Crofts scholar at Tanglewood, 1952; Academy awards, best music score, 1976, for Barry Lyndon, and 1977, for Bound for Glory; Emmy awards, outstanding music composition for dramatic underscore of a special, 1977 (with others), for Sybil, and 1979, for Friendly Fire; Golden Globe Award nomination, best original score for a motion picture, 1979, for The Lord of the Rings; Academy Award nomination, best original music score, 1984, for Cross Creek; Academy Award nomination, best original music score, and Film and Television Music Award, top box office film, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, both 1987, for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; honorary D.Phil., John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, CA.


Film Work:

Music director, East of Eden (also known as John Steinbeck's East of Eden ), Warner Bros., 1955.

Music conductor, Pork Chop Hill, United Artists, 1959.

Music conductor, The Plunderers, Allied Artists, 1960.

Music conductor, The Savage Eye, 1960.

Music director, The Outsider, Universal, 1962.

Music conductor, Countdown, Warner Bros., 1968.

Music director and conductor, Barry Lyndon, Warner Bros., 1975.

Music director, Bound for Glory, United Artists, 1976.

Music director, The Lord of the Rings (also known as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings ), United Artists, 1978.

Television Work:

Music conductor, Sherlock Holmes in New York (movie), NBC, 1976.

Music arranger, Charlton Heston Presents the Bible (special), Arts and Entertainment, 1992.

Television Appearances; Specials:

James Dean: The First American Teenager, 1975.

The 49th Annual Academy Awards, 1977.

Der Klang der Bilder, 1995.

The Hollywood Soundtrack Story, AMC, 1995.

Interviewee, James Dean: A Portrait, The Disney Channel, 1995.


Film Music:

The Cobweb, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1955.

East of Eden (also known as John Steinbeck's East of Eden ), Warner Bros., 1955.

Rebel without a Cause, Warner Bros., 1955.

Bombers B52 (also known as No Sleep Till Dawn ), Warner Bros., 1957.

Edge of the City (also known as A Man Is Ten Feet Tall ), MetroGoldwynMayer, 1957.

The Young Stranger, Universal, 1957.

Lafayette Escadrille (also known as Hell Bent for Glory, With You in My Arms, and C'est la guerre ), Warner Bros., 1958.

Pork Chop Hill, United Artists, 1959.

The Bramble Bush, Warner Bros., 1960.

The Crowded Sky, Warner Bros., 1960.

The Plunderers, Allied Artists, 1960.

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, Warner Bros., 1960.

The Savage Eye, 1960.

The Chapman Report, Warner Bros., 1962.

Convicts 4 (also known as Reprieve ), Allied Artists, 1962.

Hell Is for Heroes, Paramount, 1962.

The Outsider, Universal, 1962.

A Covenant with Death, Warner Bros., 1966.

Fantastic Voyage (also known as Microscopia and Strange Journey ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 1966.

Countdown, Warner Bros., 1968.

Hellfighters, 1968.

This Savage Land, Universal, 1969.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1970.

A Man Called Horse, National General, 1970.

The Todd Killings (also known as A Dangerous Friend and Skipper ), National General, 1971.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (also known as Colonization of the Planet of the Apes ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 1973.

Music adaptor, Barry Lyndon, Warner Bros., 1975.

Race with the Devil, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1975.

Rooster Cogburn, 1975.

The Return of a Man Called Horse, 1976.

Birch Interval, Gamma III, 1976.

Music adaptation, Bound for Glory, United Artists, 1976.

The Car, Universal, 1977.

9/30/55 (also known as 24 Hours of the Rebel ), Universal, 1977.

An Enemy of the People, Warner Bros., 1978.

(Including the song "Mithrandir") The Lord of the Rings (also known as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings ), United Artists, 1978.

Promises in the Dark, Warner Bros., 1979.

Prophecy, Paramount, 1979.

Hide in Plain Sight, United Artists, 1980.

Additional music and incidental music, The Jazz Singer, Associated Film, 1980.

Making Love, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1982.

Cross Creek, Universal, 1983.

Heart of the Stag, New World, 1984.

Sylvia, MetroGoldwynMayer/United Artists Classics, 1985.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (also known as The Voyage Home: Star Trek IV ), Paramount, 1986.

Body Wars, 1989.

Robocop 2, Orion, 1990.

Ambition, Miramax, 1991.

The Color of Evening, August Entertainment, 1994.

Levitation, Tenth Muse Productions, 1997.

Jurij, Key Film Distributors, 2001.

Songs Featured in Films:

"I Leaned on a Man," The Big Land, Warner Bros., 1958.

Television Music; Series:

The Virginian (also known as Men from Shiloh ), NBC, 1970.

Primus, syndicated, 1971.

Nakia, ABC, 1974.

Gibbsville, NBC, 1976.

Holmes and Yoyo, ABC, 1976.

Rafferty, CBS, 1977.

Also composer for the series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Combat! (including theme music), The Defenders (including theme music), Falcon Crest, Garrison's' Gorillas, Law of the Plainsman (also known as The Westerners ), Marcus Welby, M.D. (also known as Robert Young, Family Doctor ), McKeever and the Colonel, National Geographic Specials, Quincy (also known as Quincy, M.E. ), The Twilight Zone, and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.

Television Music; Movies:

Stranger on the Run (also known as Lonesome Gun ), 1967.

Shadow over Elveron, 1968.

Any Second Now, 1969.

Banyon, NBC, 1971.

In Broad Daylight, ABC, 1971.

Vanished, NBC, 1971.

The Bravos, ABC, 1972.

The Cat Creature, ABC, 1973.

Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders, ABC, 1974.

The Phantom of Hollywood, CBS, 1974.

The First ThirtySix Hours of Dr. Durant, ABC, 1975.

Sky Heist (also known as Sky Hei$t ), NBC, 1975.

Kingston: The Power Play (also known as Kingston and The Newspaper Game ), NBC, 1976.

Lanigan's Rabbi (also known as Friday the Rabbi Slept Late ), NBC, 1976.

Mary White, ABC, 1977.

The Possessed, NBC, 1977.

The Other Side of Hell (also known as The Next Howling Wind ), NBC, 1978.

Friendly Fire, ABC, 1979.

Nero Wolfe, ABC, 1979.

City in Fear, ABC, 1980.

The Wall, CBS, 1982.

Heartsounds, ABC, 1984.

The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D., ABC, 1984.

First Steps, CBS, 1985.

Promised a Miracle, CBS, 1988.

Where Pigeons Go to Die, NBC, 1990.

Aftermath: A Test of Love, CBS, 1991.

Keeper of the City, Showtime, 1991.

The Face on the Milk Carton, CBS, 1995.

Mrs. Munck, Showtime, 1995.

Television Music; Miniseries:

Sybil, NBC, 1976.

Murder in Texas, NBC, 1981.

Celebrity (also known as Tommy Thompson's Celebrity ), NBC, 1984.

Television Music; Pilots:

Marcus Welby, M.D. (also known as A Matter of Humanities ), 1969.

Nakia, ABC, 1974.

Joshua's World, CBS, 1980.

Television Music; Specials:

"Miss Lonelyhearts," American Playhouse, PBS, 1983.

"No Day at the Beach," Amazing Stories, 1986.

Charles Heston Presents the Bible, Arts and Entertainment, 1992.


Composer for orchestra and chamber orchestra. Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Film Music and Perspectives of New Music.


"No Day at the Beach," an episode of the television series Amazing Stories, for which Rosenman composed the music, was included in the video Amazing Stories: Book Three, released by MCA/Universal Home Video, 1992.



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 4: Writers and Production Artists, St. James Press, 1996.


New York Times, August 29, 1982.

Rosenman, Leonard

views updated May 18 2018


Composer. Nationality: American. Born: Brooklyn, New York, 7 September 1924. Education: Studied under Schoenberg, Sessions, and Dallapiccola. Military Service: Served in World War II. Career: Painter; then composer of chamber and choral works, and for films from the mid-1950s; taught at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; musical director of New Muse chamber orchestra; composer for TV mini-series Murder in Texas, 1981, and Celebrity, 1984. Awards: Academy Award, for Barry Lyndon, 1975, and Bound for Glory, 1976.

Films as Composer:


East of Eden (Kazan)


The Cobweb (Minnelli); Rebel without a Cause (N. Ray)


Edge of the City (Ritt)


The Young Stranger (Frankenheimer); Bombers B-52 (Douglas)


The Hidden World (Snyder—doc); Lafayette Escadrille (Wellman)


Pork Chop Hill (Milestone); The Bramble Bush (Petrie); The Savage Eye (Strick, Maddow, and Meyers)


The Crowded Sky (Pevney); The Plunderers (Pevney); The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (Boetticher)


The Outsider (Delbert Mann)


Convicts 4 (Reprieve) (Kaufman); Hell Is for Heroes (Siegel); The Chapman Report (Cukor)


Fantastic Voyage (Fleischer)


A Covenant with Death (Johnson)


Countdown (Altman); Hellfighters (McLaglen)


This Savage Land (McEveety—from TV segments)


A Man Called Horse (Silverstein); Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Post)


The Todd Killings (Skipper) (Shear)


Prophecy (Frankenheimer)


Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Lee Thompson)


Barry Lyndon (Kubrick); Race with the Devil (Starrett); Rooster Cogburn (Millar)


Bound for Glory (Ashby); Birch Interval (Delbert Mann); The Return of a Man Called Horse (Kershner)


September 30, 1955 (9/30/55) (Bridges); The Car (Silverstein); An Enemy of the People (Schaefer)


Lord of the Rings (Bakshi)


Promises in the Dark (Hellman); Prophecy (Frankenheimer)


City in Fear (Smithee); Hide in Plain Sight (Caan); The Jazz Singer (Fleischer)


The Wall (Markowitz); Making Love (Hiller)


The Return of Marcus Welby M.D. (Singer—for TV); Celebrity (Wendkos—for TV); Sylvia (Firth); Heart of the Stag (Firth)


Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Nimoy)


Where Pigeons Go to Die (Landon—for TV); Ambition (Goldstein); Robocop II (Kershner)


Aftermath: A Test of Love (G. Jordan—for TV)


Keeper of the City (Roth—for TV)


The Color of Evening (Stafford)


The Face on the Milk Carton (Hussein—for TV); Mrs. Munck (Diane Ladd)


Levitation (Goldstein)


By ROSENMAN: articles—

"Notes from a Sub-Culture," in Perspectives of New Music (Yardley, Pennsylvania), vol. 7, no. 1, 1968.

In Knowing the Score, by Irwin Bazelon, New York, 1975.

In Film Score, edited by Tony Thomas, South Brunswick, New Jersey, 1979.

In Soundtrack!, September 1995.

In Soundtrack!, December 1995.

On ROSENMAN: articles—

Thomas, Tony, in Music for the Movies, South Brunswick, New Jersey, 1973.

International Filmusic Journal, no. 2, 1980.

Palmer, Christopher, in The Composer in Hollywood, New York, 1990.

Indiana Theory Review, vol. 11, Spring/Fall, 1990.

Cue Sheet (Hollywood), vol. 11, no. 1, 1995.

* * *

Leonard Rosenman is one of a handful of film composers who have successfully incorporated contemporary compositional techniques into conventional film scoring. Rosenman's use of Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone technique set a standard for the use of various avant-garde, atonal, and serial effects. The composer has also demonstrated an ability to employ authentic period music in a number of films dealing with historical subject matter.

Brought to the attention of director Elia Kazan by one of his piano students, James Dean, Rosenman collaborated with the actor and director on East of Eden and Rebel without a Cause. For the former Rosenman opted for selective instrumentation at many points in the score rather than the large orchestral sound common in films of the time, and also provided an extended musical passage at the end of the film, running several minutes in length and giving the composer an opportunity to develop and combine themes heard throughout the film.

The use of the 12-tone technique for The Cobweb demonstrated the potential for such techniques in film scoring and led to the utilization by composers of more contemporary sounds, both in similar psychological dramas and later in other types of films. While Rosenman himself has continued to experiment in such sounds (as in Fantastic Voyage), he has refused to become typed as a "modern" composer. Rosenman has also shown an ability to adapt more traditional musical forms to his scores, ranging from the use of an ancient Chinese tune in Pork Chop Hill to the incorporation of authentic Native American music into the score for A Man Called Horse. His Academy Awards have been for arranging rather than original compositions. Rosenman received awards for his adaptation of Woody Guthrie songs in Bound for Glory and for the arrangements of classical pieces in Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, although Rosenman has expressed dissatisfaction with the final result and Kubrick's overuse of one particular theme at the expense of many of the composer's other variations.

The multiple facets of Rosenman's work are reflected in his extensive score for Lord of the Rings, which combines richly textured chordal structures and unusual tonalities with more lyrical passages and a unifying march motif. In recent years Rosenman has turned to more intimate personal dramas requiring less experimental approaches. In addition to his film work Rosenman has remained active in composing concert music and has worked extensively in television, although he referred to the latter in an interview for the American Film Institute as "the quintessential schlock medium," adding that much of the music for the medium had a generic quality and was little more than "wallpaper."

—Richard R. Ness

Rosenman, Leonard

views updated May 17 2018

Rosenman, Leonard

Rosenman, Leonard , American composer; b. N.Y., Sept. 7, 1924. He studied with local teachers, and later took courses with Sessions, Dallapiccola, and briefly with Schoenberg. His main mundane occupation is that of a movie composer; he wrote the scores for such commercially notable films as East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause, and The Chapman Report; also compiled music for television programs, among them The Defenders and Marcus Welby, M.D. But he is also the composer of a number of highly respectable musical works, among them a Violin Concerto and the challenging score Foci for 3 Orchs. His Threnody on a Song of K. R. (written to the memory of his wife, Kay Rosenman), a set of orch. variations on her original melody, was performed by the Los Angeles Phil., under the composer’s direction, May 6, 1971. Among his later compositions are Foci I for Orch. (1981; rev. 1983) and Chamber Music 5 for Piano and 6 Players (1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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