Austrian classical and film composer and pianist Ernst Toch was born in Vienna on 7 December 1887, the son of a Jewish leather dealer. He studied philosophy in Vienna, medicine in Heidelberg and music in Frankfurt, then worked in Mannheim after World War I, developing a new style of polyphony.
When Hitler seized power in 1933, Toch took refuge in Paris and then London, writing film music. He was invited to New York in 1935, moved to California, and managed to earn a living writing film music for Hollywood, and teaching music and philosophy at the University of Southern California. He wrote a book on music theory, and seven symphonies.
Toch died in California on 1 October 1964.
A selection of M&V articles about Ernst Toch
CD Spotlight. Musical Rebellion - Composers displaced by the Third Reich, heard by Howard Smith. '... piano music of singular merit.'
Ensemble. A Fascinating Insight - Georg Tintner's 'The Ellipse' and music by other Viennese émigrés, heard by Malcolm Miller