33¢ Lerner and Loewe
Issue Date: September 21, 1999
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) and Frederick Loewe (1904-1988) met in 1942. Together, they created some of the most memorable musicals in Broadway history.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Frederick Loewe was a child prodigy. He began playing piano at the age of five, composing at age seven, and at 13 was the youngest soloist to appear with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. When he was 15 years old, Loewe’s song “Katrina” became popular, selling over 1 million copies of sheet music. He arrived in the United States in 1924.
Alan Jay Lerner, the son of prosperous shop owners, was educated in England, Connecticut, at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, and Harvard. Before meeting Loewe, Lerner wrote radio scripts.
The 1947 production “Brigadoon” gave Lerner and Loewe their first success. Their fifth musical, “My Fair Lady,” (1956) was a huge hit. It was based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” “My Fair Lady” was translated into 11 languages, performed in over 20 countries, and had the longest original run of any musical in New York City or London. In 1964, a film version of the show was released. It won eight Academy Awards.
Lerner and Loewe’s work “Gigi” (1958) was created directly for film. It received nine Academy Awards.