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"Max Steiner: Maestro of Music" Documentary

October 2022 Journal Highlight

Max Steiner: Maestro of Movie Music, a documentary which prominently features the BYU Philharmonic and the Max Steiner Collection in the Harold B. Lee Library has been winning Best Documentary awards at film festivals worldwide (including the Montreal Independent Film Festival, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Da Vinci Independent Film Festival, and Cannes World Film Festival).

On October 1st, the documentary began streaming on HBOMax, and it will begin streaming on Turner Classic Movies in November.

Much of the material shown in the documentary was filmed or photographed on BYU campus, with frequent commentary from retired BYU film curator James d'Arc. Current BYU faculty members Ben Harry, Jeff Lyon, and Brent Yorgason also acted as research assistants, gathering materials for this award-winning documentary.

"In the Fall of 2018, the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra participated in recording sessions for the documentary Max Steiner: Maestro of Movie Music (by award-winning film producer Diana Friedberg). The recording sessions were organized and cheer-leaded by BYU music faculty member and film music scholar Brent Yorgason. For these sessions, Los Angeles film composer and conductor William Stromberg directed the orchestra. His colleague John Morgan, who personally knew Steiner as a young man, supplied the orchestral scores and parts, which he had carefully recreated from Steiner’s original sketches (housed in BYU’s Special Collections). As a result of these recording sessions, the director of the BYU Philharmonic, Kory Katseanes, suggested a collaborative project involving the performance of a complete Steiner film score on the concert stage, which led to the world-premiere performance of Steiner’s groundbreaking 1933 score to King Kong (played live to film) in November 2019."

For more information click HERE.

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