33¢ Max Steiner
Issue Date: September 16, 1999
City: Los Angeles, CA
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Max Steiner (1888-1971) was an accomplished composer and conductor by the age of 16. In 1906, Steiner moved to England where he composed music for the symphony, theater, vaudeville, and opera. Considered an enemy alien in England, Steiner was forced to leave the country in 1914. He arrived in New York with $32.
Steiner began composing music soon after his arrival in the United States. One of his first jobs was arranging music to be played during the screenings of silent films. He began working for RKO Radio Studios in 1929. The most famous product of Steiner’s work at RKO was “King Kong” (1933). He went on to score 111 pictures for the movie studio.
After RKO, Steiner was hired by David Selznick to score “Gone With the Wind” (1939). Steiner gave each important character in this epic film their own distinct musical theme. He later went to work for Warner Bros., where Steiner composed the music for “Casablanca” (1942) and “Mildred Pierce” (1945).
Steiner’s compositions were heard in over 300 motion pictures during his more than 30-year musical career. His scores for the films “The Informer” (1935), “Now, Voyager” (1942), and “Since You Went Away” (1944), each earned Steiner an Academy Award.