Nathaniel Shilkret

Nathaniel " Nat" Shilkret ( born December 25, 1889 in New York City as Naftule Schüldkraut, † February 18, 1982 there ), was an American musician, bandleader, composer and music manager.

Life and work

Shilkret comes from an immigrant from Austria musical family: his father played numerous instruments; his siblings were mostly also active as a musician. In 1895, he learned to play the clarinet and violin; Two years later, he took piano lessons. In 1896 he went as a member of the New York Boys' Symphony Orchestra with this on national tour; In 1902, he was announced by the orchestra as a nine year " phenomenon on the clarinet ." In 1905 he was part of the Russian Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Arnold Volpe, 1907 New York Philharmonic Orchestra ( where he performed under the direction of Vasily Safanow and Gustav Mahler ). Within the next decade, he was a member of the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, the Orchestra by Victor Herbert, the Grand Concert Band of John Philip Sousa and the ensembles of Arthur Pryor and Edwin Franko Goldman. He also worked for Walter Damrosch and accompanied Isadora Duncan.

In 1915 he worked as an arranger and conductor for the foreign department of Victor Talking Machine Company ( which later became RCA Victor ) in 1921, he led, together with Eddie King the Shilking Orchestra, with which it also came to recordings. Since 1923, he conducted the orchestra by John Philip Sousa at plate recordings. In 1924 he formed his Victor Salon Orchestra, Popular Music grossed in novel arrangements. In 1926, he became the leader of popular music with Victor.

With his orchestra and other ensembles he played a several thousand shots and entered since 1925, hence the radio on, first at WEAF radio, then on NBC in the Eveready Hour and numerous sponsored through advertising programs. Among the members of his orchestra were Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Mike Mosiello and Del Staiger.

Shildkret the sound recording was involved in numerous innovations in the field, especially in the first " electrical receptacle " in 1925 and a recording in 1932, in which the earlier ( acoustic) recorded voice of Enrico Caruso was added together electrically with an orchestra. He has also conducted the orchestra in 1927 by Paul Whiteman in the " electric " re-recording of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. For his recording of Gershwin's An American in Paris 1929, he posthumously received a Grammy.

Shilkret worked with George Gershwin, Jascha Heifetz, Mischa Elman and Andrés Segovia, as well as with opera singers like Rose Bampton, Feodor Chaliapin, Miguel Fleta, Amelita Galli- Curci, Mary Garden, Beniamino Gigli, Maria Jeritza, Giovanni Martinelli, John McCormack, Grace Moore, Jan Peerce, Lily Pons, Rosa Ponselle, Elisabeth Rethberg, Tito Schipa or Lawrence Tibbett.

Shilkret moved to Los Angeles in 1935 to strengthen cooperation with the film industry. For RKO Pictures, he wrote the music for films such as That Girl from Paris ( 1936), Mary of Scotland (1936 ), Swing Time (1936, Academy Award for Best Song), Winterset (1936, Oscar nomination ) or Hitting a New High (1937 ). He was also involved with MGM in music production to Laurel and Hardy films: At The Bohemian Girl (1936 ) as a composer, in other films such as Way Out West (1937) and Swiss Miss (1938 ) as a conductor. He was also responsible for the music for animated films by Walter Lantz as The Mysterious Jug (1937 ) or The Lamplighter (1938).

In the 1940s he founded his Nathaniel Shilkret Music Company (1940 ), to produce the music for films by MGM and RKO - Pathe for. He also played a disc recordings for Capitol Records. In the 1950s he worked primarily as a conductor. In 1963, he sat down by his wife's death to rest and moved back to New York.


Shilkret composed and arranged thousands of popular songs. He also took pieces of the German composer Paul Preil to his repertoire. In 1924 he arranged the then-popular The Prisoner 's Song. His most famous song was The Lonesome Road ( 1927), which was initially sung by his co-authors Gene Austin and 1929 in the final scene of Show Boat was used before it became a pop and jazz standard and about Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Paul Robeson was interpreted. He also wrote the theme song Lady Divine for the Oscar-winning historical drama The uncrowned queen ( The Divine Lady; 1929). The title song of the film Children of the Ritz (1929 ), Some Sweet Day, was very successful. The notes of his composition Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time has sold nearly two million copies; The song has been covered by such diverse artists as Louis Armstrong, Skitch Henderson, Guy Lombardo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John McCormack, Mitch Miller, Hugo Montenegro, The Platters as Lawrence Welk. Also the co-authored with Robert Lewis Shayon Song If I Should Send a Rose proved to be successful.

In 1928, Shilkret wrote his symphonic poem Skywards. From the 1940s he went back to the composition of classical works. In 1942 he wrote his Concerto for Trombone for Tommy Dorsey. After the premiere with Dorsey, the marks were lost, so that the concert was ( with Jim Pugh as soloists ) again performed until 2003. With Arnold Schoenberg, Darius Milhaud, Alexandre Tansman, Mario Castelnuovo- Tedesco, Ernst Toch and Igor Stravinsky 1944 he wrote the Genesis Suite, which was premiered in 1945 in Los Angeles, and in 1945 and 2000 recorded on disk. More performances took place in 1947 and 2008. He also wrote the Southern Humoresque for violin and orchestra.

Prizes and awards

1934 Shilkret was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Bethany College in Kansas. He received a total of five Grammy Awards.