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Gerard Schurmann, Film and TV Composer, Dies at 96



Gerard Schurmann, whose 1960s movie scores included “The Bedford Incident” and “Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow” however who additionally composed extensively for the live performance corridor, died March 24 at his dwelling within the Hollywood Hills. The reason for loss of life was not introduced; he was 96.

Schurmann’s loss of life was introduced by his music writer, Novello & Co. Ltd., in London. Stated James Rushton, head of Novello’s Sensible Music Group: “Gerard shall be a lot missed – a person and musician of the best caliber, who expressed himself, whether or not via his music or in dialog, with the firmest conviction. He understood so very nicely about writing for the orchestra, and for devices typically, however unusually knew the right way to make use of the orchestra each within the live performance corridor and likewise for movie. He wrote for each with such facility.”

The composer’s loss of life got here only a few months after Chandos launched a group of newly recorded suites from his movie work, led by his swashbuckling music for the 1963 “Dr. Syn,” maybe his best-known work. Written for a three-part, Disney-produced tv miniseries that aired within the U.S. as “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” starring Patrick McGoohan, it was launched theatrically in Europe as “Dr. Syn” and has loved a cult following ever since.

The album additionally featured suites from the horror movies that occupied him through the late 1950s and 1960s: “Horrors of the Black Museum” and “Konga”; he additionally scored the Hammer-produced “The Misplaced Continent” in 1968. On the time of his loss of life, Schurmann was engaged on preparations for a second album of his movie music.

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Schurmann’s best-known American movie was “The Bedford Incident,” a 1965 Chilly Warfare thriller starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. Later movies included “Assault on the Iron Coast” (1968), “Claretta” (1968, about Mussolini’s mistress) and “The Gambler” (1997, about Fyodor Dostoyevsky).

He composed parts of “The Merciless Sea” (1953) for his composition instructor Alan Rawsthorne, adopted by a solo credit score on the 1956 Ealing Studios noir “The Lengthy Arm.” He additionally scored actor Laurence Harvey’s directorial debut, “The Ceremony,” in 1963. As England’s Gramophone journal put it: “Schurmann’s music was at all times beautifully crafted and imaginatively orchestrated.”

Schurmann not often orchestrated for different composers, however did so for 2 main ones: Ernest Gold for “Exodus” and Maurice Jarre for “Lawrence of Arabia,” each of whom received Oscars for these scores. He later orchestrated Gold’s “Cross of Iron,” one in all Sam Peckinpah’s final movies. Gold as soon as referred to as Schurmann “a fabulous orchestrator and grasp of the medium.”

His many live performance works consists of “Six Research of Francis Bacon” (1968) and “Variants” (1970) for orchestra; “The Gardens of Exile” (1990) for cello and orchestra, his opera-cantata “Piers Plowman” (1980), the choral cantata “The Double Coronary heart” (1976), concertos for violin and piano, and plenty of solo instrumental works. The Pittsburgh Symphony debuted his “Concerto for Orchestra” in 1996.

Born in 1924 to Dutch dad and mom within the Dutch East Indies (now Java), he finally settled in England and served within the Royal Air Pressure throughout World Warfare II. He grew to become a cultural attache on the Dutch Embassy in London which led to his being named conductor at Netherlands Radio in Hilversum in 1947; he scored a handful of Dutch movies within the late 1940s and 1950s. He moved to the U.S. in 1981.

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Survivors embody his spouse of 55 years, Carolyn; a daughter, Karen, two youngsters and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service is predicted later this yr.

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