Hammerstein, Oscar, 2d

Hammerstein, Oscar, 2d,

1895–1960, American lyricist and librettist, b. New York City, grad. Columbia, 1916; grandson of Oscar HammersteinHammerstein, Oscar
, 1846–1919, German-American operatic impresario. In 1888 he built the Harlem Opera House, and in 1906 the Manhattan Opera House, where he gave noteworthy productions.
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. His first success was Wildflower (1923), with music by Vincent YoumansYoumans, Vincent,
1898–1946, American composer, b. New York City. He first began composing while in the navy during World War I. His first musical, Two Little Girls in Blue, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, opened (1921) on Broadway.
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. Thereafter, he collaborated with Rudolf FrimlFriml, Rudolf
(Charles Rudolf Friml) , 1879–1972, American composer, b. Prague. Friml lived in the United States after 1906. The best-known of his 33 light operas are The Firefly (1912), Rose Marie (1924), and The Vagabond King (1925).
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 on Rose Marie (1924); with Jerome KernKern, Jerome
, 1885–1945, American composer of musicals, b. New York City. After studying in New Jersey and New York he studied composition in Germany and England. His first success was the operetta The Red Petticoat (1912).
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 on Sunny (1925) and Show Boat (1927); and with Sigmund RombergRomberg, Sigmund
, 1887–1951, Hungarian-American composer, educated in Vienna. He came to the United States in 1909, played in restaurant and café orchestras, and soon had his own orchestra.
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 on Desert Song (1926) and The New Moon (1928). With the composer Richard RodgersRodgers, Richard Charles,
1902–79, American composer, b. New York City. Rodgers studied at Columbia and the Institute of Musical Art, New York City. He met both of his future collaborators, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein 2d, while at Columbia.
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 he brought to the stage musicals such as Oklahoma! (1943; Pulitzer Prize), Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949; Pulitzer Prize), and The King and I (1951)—all of which gave new distinction to the American musical through their integration of musical, dramatic, and dance elements. Hammerstein wrote the lyrics to many famous songs, including "The Last Time I Saw Paris" and "It Might As Well Be Spring," which won Academy Awards.

Bibliography

See biographies by D. Taylor (1953), S. Green (1963), J. F. Cone (1966), J. Hammond (1970), and H. Fordin (1977); A. Asch, ed., The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II (2008); E. Mordden, Rodgers and Hammerstein (1992); S. Citron, Wordsmiths (1995).

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