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Morton Gould

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Biography

Morton Gould (December 10, 1913 – February 21, 1996) was an American pianist, composer, conductor, and arranger.

Born in Richmond Hill, New York, Gould was recognized early as a child prodigy with abilities in improvisation and composition. His first composition was published at age six. Gould studied at the Institute of Musical Art, although his most important teachers were Abby Whiteside and Vincent Jones.

During the Depression, Gould, while a teenager, worked in New York City playing piano in movie theaters, as well as with vaudeville acts. When Radio City Music Hall opened, Gould was hired as the staff pianist. By 1935, he was conducting and arranging orchestral programs for New York’s WOR radio station, where he reached a national audience via the Mutual Broadcasting System, combining popular programming with classical music.

In the 1940s, Gould appeared on the Cresta Blanca Carnival program as well as The Chrysler Hour on CBS where he reached an audience of millions.

Gould composed Broadway scores, such as Billion Dollar Baby, Arms and the Girl, and film music; for films such as Delightfully Dangerous, Cinerama Holiday, and Windjammer; for television; and for ballet scores including Interplay, Fall River Legend, and I’m Old Fashioned.

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