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Ray Heindorf (born August 25, 1908 in Haverstraw, New York, † February 2, 1980 in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California) was an American songwriter, composer, conductor and arranger. He was nominated for 18 Academy Awards between 1943 and 1969 and won three.
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- Early Life
- Hollywood Years
- Academy Awards
- Jazz Recordings
- Personal Life
- External Links
Born in Haverstraw, New York, Heindorf worked as a pianist in a movie house in Mechanicville in his early teens. In 1928, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a musical arranger before heading to Hollywood. He gained his first job as an orchestrator at MGM, where he worked on Hollywood Revue of 1929, and subsequently went on the road playing piano for Lupe Vélez.
After completing this engagement, he joined Warner Bros., composing and/or arranging and conducting music exclusively for the studio for nearly forty years. Heindorf, along with Georgie Stoll at MGM, were jazz aficionados well known in the black entertainment community for employing minority musicians in their studio music departments. He undertook the musical direction of Judy Garland's 1954 comeback film A Star is Born and made a cameo appearance as himself in the premiere party sequence where Jack Carson's character congratulates him on a great score. Among Heindorf's other screen credits are 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1935, The Great Lie, Knute Rockne All American, Kings Row, Night and Day, Tea for Two, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Jazz Singer, No Time for Sergeants, The Helen Morgan Story, Marjorie Morningstar, Damn Yankees, Auntie Mame, Finian's Rainbow, and his final musical for Jack Warner, 1776.
Between 1943 and 1969 he was nominated for eighteen Academy Awards, 17 nominations for Best Score and 1 nomination for Best Song. Heindorf won three, in the category of Best Score of a Musical, for Yankee Doodle Dandy, This is the Army, and The Music Man.
Heindorf was a friend and admirer of jazz pianist Art Tatum. He hosted two Tatum piano performances at his Hollywood home in 1950 and 1955 for their mutual friends. Heindorf taped the private concerts, complete with background conversations of Tatum and the group, with some of the pianist's very best playing. These performances are now available on the Vervelabel.
Census records from 1930 show that Heindorf lived with bandleader and composer Arthur Lange, who was nearly 20 years his senior, in the Hollywood Hills. Heindorf died in Tarzana, California, aged 71, and reputedly was buried with his favorite conducting baton. Heindorf's son, Michael, was also a film composer. Heindorf was survived by three children and four grandchildren. His widow, Lorraine, died 2009.Ray Heindorf at the Internet Movie DatabaseRay Heindorf at Find a Grave
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- Production Work
- Film Work
- Personal Life
- Awards and Nominations
- Further Reading
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Sakamoto entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1970, earning a B.A. in music composition and an M.A. with special emphasis on both electronic and ethnic music. He studied ethnomusicology there with the intention of becoming a researcher in the field, due to his interest in various world music traditions, particularly the Japanese (especially Okinawan), Indian and African musical traditions. He was also trained in classical music and began experimenting with the elect...
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Sakamoto's production credits represent a prolific career in this role. In 1983, he produced Mari Iijima's debut album Rosé, the same year that the Yellow Magic Orchestra was disbanded. Sakamoto subsequently worked with artists such as Thomas Dolby; Aztec Camera, on the Dreamland (1993) album; and Imai Miki, co-producing her 1994 album A Place In The Sun. In 1996, Sakamoto produced "Mind Circus", the first single from actress Miki Nakatani, leading to a collaboration period spanning 9 singles and 7 albums though 2001. Roddy Frame, who worked with Sakamoto as a member of Aztec Camera, explained in a 1993 interview preceding the release of Dreamland that he had had to wait a lengthy period of time before he was able to work with Sakamoto, who wrote two soundtracks, a solo album and the music for the opening ceremony at the Barcelona Olympics, prior to working with Frame over four weeks in a New York studio. Frame said that he was impressed by the work of YMO and the Merry Christmas Mr...
Sakamoto began working in films, as a composer and actor, in Nagisa Oshima's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983), for which he composed the score, title theme, and the duet "Forbidden Colours" with David Sylvian. Sakamoto later composed Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987), which earned him the Academy Award with fellow composers David Byrne and Cong Su. In that same year, he composed the score to the cult-classic anime film Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise. Sakamoto also went on to compose the score of the opening ceremony for the 1992 Summer Olympicsin Barcelona, Spain, telecast live to an audience of over a billion viewers. Other films scored by Sakamoto include Pedro Almodóvar's Tacones lejanos (High Heels) (1991), Bertolucci's The Little Buddha (1993), Oliver Stone's Wild Palms (1993), John Maybury's Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes (1998) and Femme Fatale (2002), Oshima's Gohatto (1999), Jun Ichikaw...
Sakamoto's first of three marriages occurred in 1972, but ended in divorce two years later—Sakamoto has a daughter from this relationship. Sakamoto then married popular Japanese pianist and singer Akiko Yano in 1982, following several musical collaborations with her, including touring work with the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Sakamoto's second marriage ended in August 2006, 14 years after a mutual decision to live separately—Yano and Sakamoto raised one daughter, J-pop singer Miu Sakamoto.He has lived with his manager and wife Norika Sora since around 1990 and has two children with her. Beginning in June 2014, Sakamoto took a year-long hiatus after he was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer. In 2015, he returned, stating: "Right now I'm good. I feel better. Much, much better. I feel energy inside, but you never know. The cancer might come back in three years, five years, maybe 10 years. Also the radiation makes your immune system really low. It means I'm very susceptible to another canc...
Sakamoto has won a number of awards for his work as a film composer, beginning winning the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music with his score for Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983). His greatest award success was for scoring The Last Emperor (1987), which won him the Academy Award for Best Original Score, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, as well as a BAFTAnomination. His score for The Sheltering Sky (1990) won him his second Golden Globe Award, and his score for Little Buddha (1993) received another Grammy Award nomination. In 1997, his collaboration with Toshio Iwai, Music Plays Images X Images Play Music, was awarded the Golden Nica, the grand prize of the Prix Ars Electronica competition. He also contributed to the Academy Award winning soundtrack for Babel (2006) with several pieces of music, including the closing theme "Bibo no Aozora". In 2009, he was awarded the O...
"Ryuichi Sakamoto". Music Technology. Vol. 6 no. 8. July 1992. p. 52. ISSN 0957-6606. OCLC 24835173.