The night Arnold Schoenberg turned down an Oscar nominationmain
E. Randol Schoenberg, the composer’s grandson, has found a wonderful letter from the old man, declining a chance to introduce one of the Oscar winners in 1938. The winner in question was Charles Previn, for Best Original Music Score, One Hundred Men and a Girl
The letter reads as follows:
Mr. Donald Gledhill, Executive Secretary
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science
1680 North Vine Street
I deeply regret that illness during the past two nights will prevent me from attending the banquet tonight. Please express my disappointment and offer my apologies to your board and the guests. I add the remarks which I had planned to deliver and which I should like to have represent me on this important occasion.
It seems to me one of the most estimable traits of mankind, that men like to find out, who are their best. And, that mankind always is ready to venerate outstanding persons in every field, symbolizes to me the tendency of mankind toward progress, toward development, toward improvement, toward a better future.
As almost my whole life as an artist has been devoted–scarcely to the present,–but distinctly to the future, I use with pleasure this occasion to express the hope: there will soon come a time, when the severe conditions and laws of modernistic music will be no hindrance any more toward a reconciliation with the necessities of the moving picture industry.
By its use of music as a means of stimulation, the movie industry has already succeeded in making the people music conscious. Step by step it will educate them also to ideas and ways of expression, which they cannot appreciate today.
Because of this effect, in time to come, every outstanding man in this field will deserve the title of pioneer of culture.
Therefore I congratulate most heartily the man whose Universal Picture Company picture “One Hundred Men and a Girl” has been chosen by so great a majority of votes to be recognized as the author of this years best musical score.
116 N. Rockingham Ave.
West Los Angeles.
Telephone: W.L.A. 35077