Ernest Gold

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Ernest Gold ; actually Ernst Siegmund Goldner (born July 13, 1921 in Vienna ; † March 17, 1999 in Los Angeles ) was an American composer of Austrian origin.

Live and act

Ernst Goldner was the son of an Austrian "half-Jewish" violinist and a classical singer. At the age of five he began to compose and was considered a child prodigy . At the age of 12 he attended the New Vienna Conservatory and began studying piano with Grete Hinterhofer at the Vienna Music Academy in 1937 . After Austria's annexation to the National Socialist German Reich in 1938, his father decided to emigrate to the United States with him and his wife. Goldner studied in New York City with Otto Cesena and Léon Barzin . His first successful titles were Practice Makes Perfect (1940), sung a. a. by Billie Holiday , and Accidentally on Purpose (1940), recorded by Jack Teagarden . In 1945 Goldner left New York for Los Angeles, where he worked as an arranger and anglicized his name to Ernest Gold . There he continued his studies with George Antheil , for whom he also orchestrated, and began to write film music for westerns . In 1958 he began his long-term collaboration with director and producer Stanley Kramer with the score for Escape in Chains . The following year, his film music for Kramer's The Last Shore made the Australian folk tune Waltzing Matilda internationally known. His final breakthrough came when he received the Oscar in 1961 for the film Exodus . He was the first film composer to be immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .

He also made a name for himself as a composer of modern musical works. He composed several symphonies and chamber music . During his school days at the Wasagymnasium in Vienna , the later composer Andre Asriel, who was also forced to emigrate, was his classmate. He also wrote film scores - albeit on the other side of the globe and the Iron Curtain.


Gold was married to the singer Marni Nixon ; their son was, among others, Andrew Gold .

Filmography (selection)


  • 1960: Golden Globe Best Score for The Last Shore
  • 1960: Nomination for the best film music (drama) for On the Beach (The Last Shore)
  • 1961: Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album or Best Recording of Film or TV Music for Exodus
  • 1961: Oscar for best film music (drama) for Exodus
  • 1964: Nomination for the best song (Best Song) for It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World ( Eine total, totally crazy world )
  • 1970: Nomination for Best Film Music (Original Score for a Motion Picture) for The Secret of Santa Vittoria


  • Herbert Martin: Ernest Gold - “I don't think I'm a competition for a heavy metal band!” , Portrait and interview, in: Filmharmonische Blätter . Issue 7 / October / November 1987, pp. 18-26

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Interfaith Celebrities: Katie Couric's Jewish Mom and The Jewish Side to ,, November 5, 2007
  2. a b Ernest (Ernst Goldner) Gold on: Orpheus Trust , as of August 10, 2015
  3. a b Thomas L. Gayda:  Gold, Ernest. In: Grove Music Online (English; subscription required).
  4. Practice Makes Perfect on Second Hand Songs
  5. ^ Accidentally on Purpose , recorded by Jack Teagarden
  6. Uwe Harten: Gold (proper Goldner), Ernest (proper Ernst). In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 2, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-7001-3044-9 ., As of December 27, 2001