Academy Award-nominated American composer Alex North studied at the Curtis Institute and Juilliard, and with Aaron Copland and may be best remembered for his scores to many classic Hollywood films, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Spartacus, The Misfits, Viva Zapata!, and The Bad Seed, which are featured on the Nonesuch Film Series album The Film Music of Alex North.
Academy Award-nominated American composer Alex North may be best remembered for his scores to many classic Hollywood films. He was born in 1910 in Chester, Pennsylvania, and began formal musical studies on scholarship at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. His studies next took him to the Juilliard School and to the Moscow Conservatory. When North returned to the US after his time in Moscow, he studied privately with Aaron Copland and Ernst Toch and quickly began working as a composer for theater and film as well as a dance accompanist.
North’s work in the theater led to his first Hollywood film score, for the classic film adaption of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. His controversial score set the precedent for the rest of his Hollywood career, during which he would find himself both at the cutting edge and in great demand. North's other notable scores include Spartacus, The Misfits, Cleopatra, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and The Devil’s Brigade. Stanley Kubrick commissioned North to score his 1968 masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey but chose to replace North’s score shortly before the film’s release.
Nonesuch released a collection of some of North's most memorable work for the Nonesuch Film Series on the album The Film Music of Alex North. The New York Times said North's "estimable stylistic arsenal" is on display in the collection.