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George Antheil


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George Carl Johann Antheil (1900–1959) was a U.S. composer and pianist.

Born in Trenton New Jersey on 8th June 1900, Antheil’s best-known composition is Ballet Mécanique (1924). The “ballet” was about thirty minutes long, originally conceived as the musical accompaniment to the film of the same name by Dudley Murphy and Fernand Léger. Eventually the film makers and composers chose to let their creations evolve separately, although the film credits still included Antheil. Ballet Mécanique premiered as concert music in Paris in 1926. The onstage airplane propeller blew off toupées and hats, which caused some scuffles, but critics produced positive reviews anyway. Antheil became known as the “bad boy of music”.

Antheil took Ballet Mécanique to Carnegie Hall in New York the following year. The Americans seemed less enthusiastic: they expressed mild amusement, but they would not accept Antheil as a serious composer. Antheil remained in France as a Guggenheim scholar for a few more years, during which time he wrote his opera Transatlantic, but the Depression took him back to the U.S. in 1932. He went to Hollywood in 1936 and became an established film composer.

Antheil died on 12th February 1959 in New York City.


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  • lelusio

    marry me!!!

    5 Nov 2013 Reply
  • sodr2

    my dad outlived him

    29 Oct 2012 Reply
  • ConcretoZv

    I'm slightly surprised that he has such a small number of listens .

    19 Jun 2012 Reply
  • zuzochka

    очень понравился

    29 Jan 2012 Reply
  • pitchorneirda

    Because compositions don't die.

    1 Sep 2011 Reply
  • djggou

    I like the part where it's awesome

    4 Dec 2010 Reply
  • insomniacme


    20 Jun 2010 Reply
  • KropotkinBeard

    How the hell could Antheil be on tour? He's been dead for fifty years!

    10 May 2009 Reply
  • sevenand7is27

    "Critics wrote that he hit the piano rather than played it, and indeed he often injured himself by doing so. Audiences in Budapest got so restless sometimes that Antheil would pull a pistol from his jacket and lay it on the piano to make people pay attention." thats fucking baller

    10 Jan 2009 Reply
  • Toontoontoon

    Were can I find his music? I have 'Piano Solo Music', played by Hideki Nagano.

    10 Dec 2008 Reply
  • HazelFlagg

    Percusion Dance!!!! fav. pianist with Monk

    29 Oct 2008 Reply
  • zrsullivan

    You can count on his 'String Quartet No. 3' to turn your guts in new & wonderful ways. His music contains the American Cancer, which eats through mediocrity like moth larvae through a tacky sweater.

    26 Jun 2008 Reply
  • zrsullivan

    Sure, 'Ballet Mécanique' is neat, but the 'Violin Sonata no. 1' is his bubbling, corrosive chef d'œuvre!

    22 Jun 2008 Reply
  • zrsullivan

    Where's your flood of praise, George?

    21 Jun 2008 Reply
  • Chriswildman

    a real fun discovery!

    18 Dec 2007 Reply

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