Tag: bernstein

Elmer Bernstein Wisdom

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I was fortunate to work legendary composer Elmer Bernstein for the last decade of his life. He was my mentor, friend and first employer.  I met him when I was still a junior in high school, in Bellingham, Washington (a remarkable story worthy of its own blog entry one day). Elmer encouraged me to study professionally at the University of Southern California

When I arrived in Los Angeles, I sat in on his film scoring classes, even though I wasn’t supposed to attend them until my final year. During those years, I began to work for him over the summers, organizing his archive of film scores and personal documents, all of which are now housed in the USC Library. I also house-sat for him while he was away for the summer, and he would assign me massive orchestration tasks to keep me busy. I re-orchestrated his complete lost score to the 1963 film, “Kings of the Sun,” as well as concert suites of a handful of other scores for various concert performances. (“Kings of the Sun” was eventually recorded during Elmer’s final recording sessions. My orchestrations can be heard on the album, which I just discovered is on iTunes!) (more…)

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