Remembering Jerome Moross, Hollywood Symphonist

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Composer Jerome Moross in the early 1960s Jerome Moross in the early 1960s (

Jerome Moross was born in Brooklyn 100 years ago, on August 1, 1913. He started composing at a young age, and when Moross was 18, Aaron Copland invited him to join Copland’s Young Composers’ Group, which included Moross’ high school friend Bernard Herrmann. Moross was also encouraged by composers George Gershwin and Charles Ives.

Stylistically, Moross was drawn to melody and rhythm, and after trying out a more atonal approach in his music, committed himself to composing robust, friendly music influenced by American folk and jazz as well as classical traditions.

Moross was a natural for film score composing, and after some success in New York writing for concert halls and Broadway, he began composing for movies in 1948. He died in 1983.

David Garland presents an overview of Moross’ joyful and dramatic music for films such as "The Big Country," "The Proud Rebel," "The War Lord," "Rachel Rachel," "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," and "The Cardinal," as well as some of his music for the Broadway show "The Golden Apple."

Comments [6]

Linda Lovison from Washington

A great composer. His music scores "make" the movies so much better.

Feb. 26 2016 04:05 PM
michael from melbourne

i have a copy of the complete score to THE GOLDEN APPLE. Also I was look upon as a geek for loving only soundtracks to movies. I would only go to the movie when I was teen just to hear the score, and if I liked it, I would try to seek it out.

Jan. 20 2014 09:01 AM
CLW from New Jersey

Too bad no revival of "The Golden Apple" seems imminent, at least according to the Moross website. A through-sung retelling of the Iliad AND the Odyssey reset in Washington State at the turn of the last century sounds awful, but the show itself is really terrific, funny and clever and, by conclusion, quite moving. The story of a soldier's return home from a long, costly, and ultimately meaningless war would also appear to have some relevance today. Unfortunately, no commercial recording of the entire score has ever been done, and the original cast recording contains only a fraction of Moross' wonderful, varied score. "The Golden Apple" is a forgotten gem waiting to be re-discovered.

Aug. 04 2013 08:52 AM
harry silverstein from manhasset NY

The Big Country by Jerome Moross is one of the greatest scores in music history, full of power, beauty and wit. Symphonic in sweep, it is worthy of concert performance as a work of its own.

Aug. 03 2013 10:18 PM
Stephanie J. Hughes from Manchester, NJ

Thank you so much for a wonderful evening of Moross's glorious music. I have so many memories of his scores and experiences listening to his music.
I was considered to be geeky for loving film scores and I remember going to see BIG COUNTRY with a group of friends and when Chuck Connors and his guys do the trick riding to greet Peck how that music build up had the guys on their feet in the aisle, they were so thrilled. I was hysterical laughing. Good music does its job!!!!
Thank you!!!!

Aug. 03 2013 10:08 PM

How strange. I saw this headline and kept saying to myself that I knew that I knew this name -- but not from the movies. Indeed, once I read the post I saw that he had composed the score for "The Golden Apple," which I did with the York Players many moons ago when they were based at the Church of the Heavenly Rest.

"A pretty golden apple that glitters in the sun ... that glitters in the proud state of Washing-ton."

Aug. 03 2013 09:24 PM

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