b. 20 October 1897, London, England, d. 1 January 1980, Palm Desert, California, USA. A composer, arranger and musical director for films from the 30s to the 60s. Deutsch began to learn music at the age of five, and, while still a schoolboy, studied composition and piano at the Royal College of Music in London. At the age of 13 he was taken to the USA by his uncle and settled in Buffalo. He became a US citizen in 1920. After high school he worked in the accessory department at the Ford Motor Company, at the same time submitting arrangements to various entertainment organizations. He moved to New York, and during the 20s and early 30s, scored and arranged for musical shows, including those of Irving Berlin and George Gershwin; worked in radio, with a three year stint on Paul Whiteman’s Music Hall; and served as musical director on a few films, such as The Smiling Lieutenant (1931).
In 1937 he began to score films, initially for Warner Bros., such as They Won’t Forget Him, The Great Garrick, Cowboy From Brooklyn, Indianapolis Speedway, Three Cheers For The Irish, The Fighting 69th, They Drive By Night, High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, Across The Pacific, The Great Mr Nobody, Action In The North Atlantic, Northern Pursuit, Uncertain Glory, The Mask Of Dimitrios, and Three Strangers. In 1939, Deutsch spent 12 weeks assisting Max Steiner with his score for Gone With The Wind. In 1948 he joined MGM, already well into their golden age of musical movies, and was associated with the studio until 1962. He won Academy Awards for his scores for Annie Get Your Gun (1950) (with Roger Edens), Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954) (with Saul Chaplin), Oklahoma! (1955) (with Robert Russell Bennett and Jay Blackton). He won Oscar nominations for his work on Show Boat, The Band Wagon, Deep In My Heart, Some Like It Hot and The Apartment (1960). His other background scores through the 50s, included Father Of The Bride, Mrs O’Malley And Mr Malone, The Long Long Trailer, The Rack, Tea And Sympathy, Funny Face, The Matchmaker, Les Girls and many others.
Deutsch also wrote a symphonic piece, the ‘Scottish Suite’, which was performed by US classical orchestras, and a number of other instrumental works, such as ‘March Of The United Nations’, ‘Clarabelle’, ‘Three Sisters’, ‘Piano Echoes’, ‘Skyride’, ‘March Eccentrique’ ‘Margo’, ‘Stairway’ and ‘Lonely Room’ (theme from The Apartment). In 1943 Deutsch formed the Screen Composers Association and was its President Emeritus from 1955 until his death.~ Rovi