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W240

Hugo Friedhofer

Composer

 

Biography

Hugo Friedhofer — how many times have you seen that name in the credits of 1930s and ‘40s movies for “orchestration” or “musical arranger” and thought — Gee, what a busy guy! He was, and, ironically, much of that work went uncredited. He is not usually mentioned with the great film composers of early Hollywood, but he was very much an equal and as prolific once he received the opportunities to compose as well. Friedhofer began studying the cello at age 13. In 1917, he dropped out of high school in support of a teacher who had been fired for radical and anti-war beliefs. He worked as a cellist for the People’s Symphony Orchestra in San Francisco (always a liberal kind of place). He married quite young at 19 and had a child by the age of 22. He quickly put his music expertise to a working life by playing in theater orchestras and accompanying silent films and stage shows between features. He also started writing arrangements of music and worked at the Granada Theater (became the Paramount… read more

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