2021-12-16 – 21:15 h

The American Society of Music Arrangers & Composers (ASMAC) presents this Saturday an online free conference entitled “Max Steiner: Maestro of Movie Music: Documentary Film Screening” with director Diana Friedberg, producer Steven C Smith, composer John Morgan and composer William Stromberg. Moderated by composer Dan Redfeld.


Event information


Official description:

“Music is the invisible heartbeat of a movie. This is the story of a man who invented a new art form and changed Hollywood forever.


Max Steiner arrived in America as a penniless musician from Europe at the beginning of the last century. After a productive career on Broadway he headed west to Hollywood and introduced the musical underscore. His ideas were revolutionary. He worked on over 300 films, including timeless classics such as Gone with the Wind, King Kong and Casablanca. He was nominated for over 24 Academy Awards and won three.


His legacy lives on today through the many composers who followed in his footsteps.



Diana Friedberg ACE is a multiple award-winning editor and producer. In 1967 she began her career in her native South Africa. There, in 1972, she became the first woman to direct a feature film. She moved to Hollywood with her husband and family in 1986. With an MFA from USC in film production Friedberg has edited and produced features, episodic television, animation series and non-fiction productions for companies as diverse as Disney, National Geographic, The History Channel, A&E, Discovery, NBC, USA, Stephen J. Cannell, and Leonard Nimoy Productions.


Fired by her passion for beads, Diana was inspired to travel the world filming and documenting the use of beads and beadwork in cultures in every corner of the globe. This resulted in her groundbreaking five-part documentary series entitled World on a String. Widely acknowledged and loved, it garnered 31 international awards. A companion photographic book soon followed the film’s success. In 2020 she completed a major documentary on the life of composer Max Steiner and his contribution to the art of film scoring. Diana co-chaired the American Cinema Editors intern program for 18 years, mentoring many young editors to successful careers in the industry. In 2017 she was the recipient of American Cinema Editors Heritage Award, given in recognition of her unwavering commitment to advancing the image of the film editor, cultivating respect for the editing profession, and tireless dedication to American Cinema Editors.


Steven C. Smith is an award-winning author and Emmy-nominated documentary producer who specializes in Hollywood history. He is the author of two biographies: Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer (Oxford University Press), and A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann (University of California Press). The latter received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and was the main research source for the Academy Award-nominated documentary Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann.


Steven has produced and written over 200 documentaries for television and other media. They include The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg; The Lure of the Desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia; A Place for Us: West Side Story’s Legacy; and Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood. Steven lives in Los Angeles.


John Morgan is a film composer who has scored over twenty features and many television and radio projects. With William Stromberg, he wrote scores for Starship Troopers 2, Trinity and Beyond, Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years, and Cinerama Adventure. Since the late 1970s, he has also orchestrated for such composers as Fred Steiner, Bruce Broughton, and Alex North.


Morgan’s passion for the music of Hollywood’s golden age led him to arrange or reconstruct over seventy classic scores. These include music by Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Franz Waxman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Salter, Victor Young, and Roy Webb. These reconstructions have been recorded and released on over forty albums and CDs by Naxos, BMG, Marco Polo, and Tribute Film Classics.




GRAMMY-nominated conductor William Stromberg has composed and conducted music for many films, including the documentary Trinity and Beyond, Starship Troopers 2, Bugs and Army of the Dead for the Sci-Fi Channel, and most recently the documentary film The Battle of Bunker Hill. He has conducted and orchestrated regularly for many Hollywood composers such as Rolfe Kent, Joseph LoDuca, Elia Cmiral, and Marco Beltrami, including the scores for Legally Blonde, Nurse Betty, The Triangle, The Messengers, and Mimic.


William composed and orchestrated music for Steven Spielberg’s Tiny Toon Adventures and Batman: The Animated Series. In the summer of 2001 he toured with the rock group Yes for the Yes Symphonic Tour across America, composing the overture for the show and conducting the orchestra on stage with the band.


William has also been heavily involved in performing classic film music, conducting scores by such eminent composers as Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. He has conducted much Americana concert music by such composers as Ferde Grofé, Robert Russell Bennett, and Meredith Willson.




Award-winning American composer, conductor, orchestrator and producer Dan Redfeld has had his music and arrangements performed internationally from the concert hall to the musical theatre stage to the recording studio. His credits include the following: Music director: It Shoulda Been You, (Musical Theatre Guild), Bright Star, Beauty & The Beast, (Susan Egan), The Who’s Tommy, (Alice Ripley), Chess, (Susan Egan/Matt Morrison), My Fair Lady, Jonathan Pryce, assistant MD), Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter Pan, Evita, and dozens more.


Conductor for LA Opera’s Educom since 2003. Composer: A Hopeful Place, Arioso for Oboe, Percussion & Strings, (Santa Barbara Symphony premiere), January 15, 1947 for Solo Harp, Fantasy for Violin & Piano, Travels for Piano Quartet, and Dance Sketches. Read More”