Price: $450.00


The Hungarian-American composer writes a two page autographed letter to film historian John C. Tibbetts on his Los Angeles letterhead, March 24th, 1982.  We offer with a 1979 vintage 8” x 10” glossy photograph of the composer, with colleagues John Williams and the late Andre Previn for a PBS televised event.  Perfect for display together!


March 24th, 1982


Dear Mr. Tibbetts,


Congratulations to your doctorate and I am sorry that I missed you while you were here.  Ask Miss Crwford to call me (213-876-5649) and I would be glad to give her an interview.  The same goes for the Movie/Video Expo– only, end of April I have to go to the Santa Fe Film Festival, where there is a “Salute to Mr. R”, middle of June to London where my autobiography will be published and on the 24th the National Film Theatre is giving an evening celebrating this event and from there to Venice where there is a similar manifestation on June 29th.  After that my address will be (until October 1 & 2) /Salita S. Agostino 11, 16038-Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy.


So Miss Crawford could call me either before my departure or in October.


With best wishes,


I am yours…...


Rozsa (1907-1995) was born in Hungary and was a child prodigy performer on the violin and piano as well as a prodigy composer.  He studied composition at the Leipzig Conservatory with Max Reger’s disciple Hermann Gr
äbner, as well as with Karl Straube and Theodor Kroyer.   In his late teens his compositions were performed in Europe and reached an international audience by his early twenties.  After a time as Gräbner’s assistant, he moved to Paris in 1932 at the suggestion of Marcel Dupré.  He became interested in music for film due to his friendship there with Arthur Honegger and moved to London in 1935 to compose music for motion pictures. He scored the films, “Knight Without Armour” and “Thunder in the City” in 1937; “The Four Feathers” in 1939.  He moved to Los Angeles that same year and his first “American” film score was “The Thief of Baghdad” which won him an Oscar nomination.  In 1940 he scored “Lydia” and in 1941 for his British studio, "That Hamilton Woman" and for the American studios, “Sundown”.  The rest of the 1940’s were fruitful for Rozsa in Hollywood, he scored the films,  "Five Graves to Cairo"(1943), "The Woman of the Town" (1943),"Sahara" (1944), "Double Indemnity" (1944), "Spellbound" (1945), "The Lost Weekend" (1945), "A Song to Remember" (1945), "The Killers"(1946), "A Double Life" (1947), "Song of Scheherazade"(1947), "Brute Force" (1947), "The Naked City" (1948) and "Madame Bovary" (1949). The 1940’s films allowed him to work with Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock and won him further Oscar nominations and his first Oscar for “Spellbound” in 1945 and his second in 1947 for “A Double Life”. 


The 1950’s were kind to Rozsa and he scored films for MGM after his success with “Madame Bovary” including, "Quo Vadis" (1951), "Ivanhoe" (1952), "Plymouth Adventure"  (1952), "Knights of the Round Table" (1953),"Green Fire" (1954), "Moonfleet" (1955), "Bhowani Junction" (1956), "Lust for Life" (1956) and "Ben-Hur" (1959).  He won the 1960 Oscar for his film score to “Ben Hur”.  The 1960’s brought, "El Cid" (1961), "King of Kings" (1961), "The V.I.P.'s" (1963) and "The Green Berets"(1968).  The 1970’s film scores included, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970),"The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" (1973), "Fedora" (1978), "Last Embrace" (1979) and "Time After Time" (1979).  His final two film scores were “Eye of the Needle” (1981) and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (1982).  He stopped scoring films at this point due to the partial paralysis suffered after a stroke during the trip to Italy he mentions in this very letter.


Rozsa was not just a film composer, he left a significant amount of symphonic compositions, chamber music, choral works and works for solo piano.  His works included a violin concerto commissioned and first performed by Jascha Heifetz in Dallas, 1956, a cello concerto commissioned by Janos Starker performed in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic for the first time in 1969 , A piano concerto commissioned by Leonard Pennario first performed by Pennario and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1967,  A Madrigal of Spring, a Concerto for String Orchestra and his Theme, Variations and Finale first performed in 1934 in Germany, but went around the World like a shot and was performed by a variety of conductors and orchestras including Bruno Walter, Charles Munch and Leonard Bernstein.


Despite his significant work outside the World of motion pictures, both performed and recorded, his best known music is his film music.  This letter which refers to the planned trip where he suffered a stroke which ended his film scoring career certainly becomes all the more poignant.


Pristine with standard mailing folds.







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