Erno Rapee

Ernö Rapée (or Erno Rapee) (4 June 1891 – 26 June 1945) was one of the most prolific American symphonic conductors in the first half of the 20th Century. His most famous tenure was that of the head conductor of the Radio City Symphony Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the Radio City Music Hall, whose music was heard by millions over the air. A virtuoso pianist, Rapée is also remembered for popular songs that he wrote in the late 1920s as photoplay music for silent films. When not conducting live orchestras, he supervised film scores for sound pictures, compiling a substantial list of films on which he worked as composer, arranger or musical director. Rapée was born in Budapest, Hungary, where he studied as a pianist and later conductor at the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music. Later, he was assistant conductor to Ernst von Schuch in Dresden. As a composer, his first piano concerto was played by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna, and after a tour of America as a guest conductor, began performing at the Rialto Theater in New York as assistant to Hugo Riesenfeld, where he began composing and conducting for silent films.


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