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26th June 2012, 2:36pm
New light shed on the day Hitchcock’s music died
Hitchcok and Herrmann The break-up of Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock and composer Bernard Herrmann is one of Hollywood’s most dramatic stories.

Now, thirty years on, and thanks to exclusive documents and interviews carried out by academic and film expert Professor Neil Sinyard, we have fresh insight into the jealousy, insecurity and suspicion which led to the break-up.

The partnership of director Alfred Hitchcock and composer Bernard Herrmann is one of the most brilliant director/composer partnerships in the history of film. The duo were responsible for classic collaborations including 'Vertigo', 'North by Northwest' and, above all, the immortal 'Psycho'. This partnership, however, essentially collapsed during one morning in a furious row between the two over Herrmann's score for Hitchcock's new film at that time, 'Torn Curtain'.

According to Neil Sinyard there is nothing quite like this dramatic break-up in the history of Hollywood movie music.

“Why did it happen? What were the consequences for both men, who were not only supreme artists in their respective fields, but also close friends (which adds to the mystery)? And of all the conflicting accounts and views of what happened that fateful day, which are the most plausible?” he asks.

In order to gain a better insight into what happened that day, Neil Sinyard recently spoke at length about the incident to Herrmann's widow, Norma, as well as Herrmann’s good friend and fellow film composer, David Raskin, whose first-hand knowledge in places contradicts some generally held views about the incident.

“For all lovers of film and film music, this is one of Hollywood's most dramatic stories and an insight into the way creativity and fame can mask a whirlpool of other emotions- jealousy, insecurity, suspicion- which, on this particular day, seemed to flare out of control,” he said.

Professor Neil Sinyard will present his findings for the first time this Thursday at the University of Lincoln at an exclusive talk as part of the Lincoln Academy Lecture Series.

Click here for event details:

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