He studied with Arnold Schoenberg, taught James Dean how to play the piano, launched a career in Hollywood, and he has also conducted top orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. American composer Leonard Rosenman has had a life full of adventure. His first job for Hollywood was a smashing success -- it was the movie score for "East of Eden," which brought instant fame to James Dean in 1955. Rosenman also wrote the music to Dean's second movie "Rebel Without a Cause." After the idol's death, he continued his career with movies like "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," "Lord of the Rings," and "Star Treck IV: the Voyage Home." Rosenman's success has its foundation in his classical training, which he underwent with composers like Ernst Bloch, Roger Sessions, and Arnold Schoenberg. In fact, Rosenman thinks of his concert music at least as highly as his hits from the movies. The versatile composer is 75 years old today (Sept. 7), and Georg Hirsch has paid him a visit in Los Angeles.
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