Biography of George Antheil (1900-1959)

American composer known as the "bad boy of music" (Bad boy of music) by the type of ultramodern music performed in the Decade of the 1920s. He/She was born on July 8, 1900 in Trenton, New Jersey, and died on February 12, 1959 in New York. He/She studied with Constantin von Sternberg and Clark Smith at the Philadelphia Conservatory, as well as receiving private lessons from American composer of Swiss origin Ernest Bloch in New York.

In 1922 he/she traveled to Europe thanks to a scholarship; There he/she played an important role as a concert pianist in the French musical vanguard, offering piano recitals and highlighting in Paris avant-garde artistic-literary circles. He/She performed many of his own works, which were considered experimental music, and which included elements that were not actual musical instruments, such as engines, campaigns and other mechanisms. Some of the works from this period are Mechanisms, Airplane Sonata and Sonata Sauvage. In Berlin he/she met Stravinsky, who exerted great influence in his style of composition. The Parisian artistic community, composed of Joyce, Pound, Yeats, Satie and Picasso, among others, proclaimed him transmitter vehicle of his modernist ideas. His greatest achievement during this period could be his spectacular Ballet mécanique for percussion, which sounded pianos, motor car, airplane propellers and electric bells speaker, also resulted in some hostile criticism and had bad reception in Paris in 1926.

When he/she returned to the United States in 1933, he/she worked for different companies of cinema as a composer and associate producer. Among his most celebrated works include the mentioned Ballet mécanique, composed in 1925, and again had bad reception in New York in 1927. However, in his subsequent replenishment (1954) it would be considered a great work and the musician a great talent. Later, Antheil took in his works elements of the neo-romantic and neoclassical styles. When the nazis took over the German Government in 1933, Hitler began to close all opera rooms interpreting modern music. George is very angry because of the influence of Hitler in the European arts and decided to return to the United States.

In 1936, Antheil moved to Hollywood and settled there; It produced many film soundtracks, including those of Tokyo Joe, in 1949; Angels over Broadway, 1940; and Fighting Kentuckians, 1950. After 1939 it abandoned the avant-garde style in favor of an eclectic mix of classicism, romanticism and impressionism. His works include eight symphonies, ballet Capital of the World, 1953; Chamber music and operas Transatlantic, 1930; Helen Retires, 1934; Volpone, 1953; and The Wish, 1955. He/She also wrote an autobiography entitled Bad Boy of Music in 1945.

The last twenty years of his life were a very fertile period, which produced four symphonies, several operas, including Volpone, etc. The latter is a finding in its genre; a cartoon satire, inserted in a musical environment that combines a heterogeneous harmonic language with thematic versatility, rhythmic energy and construction of mosaic and programmatic colorful stamps, all sign of the maturity of style of Antheil.