On Thursday 24 October the next edition in the Utrecht Colloquium of Musicologies 2019-20 will take place. Kathryn Kalinak (Rode Island College) will give a talk on Hageman’s film scores, which both embody the conventional practice of Hollywood film scoring and depart from it in distinctive ways.
Richard Hageman, born in Leeuwarden in 1888, emigrated to the US twice (in 1906 and 1935) where he scored sixteen Hollywood films, was nominated for six Academy Awards, won an Oscar for the precedent-setting score for Stagecoach (1939), and went on to he scored six more films for Hollywood’s most prestigious director John Ford.
Before he arrived in Hollywood, he conducted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1908 to 1922 (his debut was conducting Enrico Caruso in Faust); he founded opera companies in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto; he was on the founding faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music; he accompanied some of the world’s greatest soloists including Jascha Heifitz, Gregor Piatagorsky, and Fritz Kreisler; he composed 69 art songs, widely sung during his lifetime and still heard on recital stages today, in addition to an oratorio, and an opera which was the first American opera to be produced in Vienna (when it later premiered at the Met, George Balanchine choreographed it). In the recently published Encyclopedia of Film Composers, Hageman’s entry begins, “He was an exceptional musical talent who dallied with movies for a short time . . . leaving behind some superb scores.” (Hischak 2015: 293) And Richard Hageman is virtually unknown today, a footnote to music and film history in the twentieth century.
Kathryn Kalinak and her co-authors Nico de Villiers and Asing Walthaus are writing a critical biography of Richard Hageman, the first comprehensive study of his life and works to be published in English and Dutch in 2020.
Kathryn Kalinak is Professor of Film Studies at Rhode Island College and the author of numerous articles on film music as well as the books Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film (University of Wisconsin Press); How the West was Sung: Music in the Westerns of John Ford (University of California Press); and Film Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press). She has edited and contributed to the anthologies Notes From the Frontier: Music and the Western (Routledge Press) and Sound: Dialogue, Music, Effects (Rutgers University Press). She has compiled the comprehensive bibliography, Film Music, Global Practices for Oxford University Press’s online bibliography series. She has delivered numerous papers at film conferences and keynote addresses at film music conferences at different universities. In 2011 she was named the Mary Tucker Thorp Professor at Rhode Island College. She is currently at work with Nico de Villiers and Asing Walthaus on a critical biography of the composer Richard Hageman.