He composed his first pieces when he was 5, and by the age of 17 he had written a string quartet. His well-to-do and artistic family encouraged him to play chamber music at home. Eventually he was sent to study under Paul Hindemith at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik. He emigrated to England in 1934 to escape the Nazis.
Once in England, he furthered his studies under Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music, eventually becoming a professor at the Royal Northern College of Music (then the Royal Academy of Music) in Manchester. He later became Visiting Professor of Composition at Boston University. He composed several chamber and piano works, as well as a number of concertos - most notoriously the Concerto Popolare composed for Gerard Hoffnung's first music festival in 1956. The premise behind Concerto Popolare is that the orchestra believes it is playing the Tchaikovsky piano concerto, but the pianist (in the premiere, the renowned actress Yvonne Arnaud) believes she is playing the Grieg piano concerto. A musical pitched battle ensues, dragging in other themes (notably from Rhapsody in Blue and the music-hall song Roll out the barrel).
Also popular was his set of Variations on the Lambeth Walk (a popular song of the 1930s), for solo piano, each variation being a pastiche of the style of a major classical composer. The composers pastiched are Chopin, Verdi, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Wagner and Liszt. Reizenstein is also noted for his lavish orchestral score to Hammer Studios' 1959 horror film The Mummy. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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