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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 28 December 1898Bialystok, Poland, Russian Empire [now Bialystok, Podlaskie, Poland]
Date of Death 28 June 1985London, England, UK  (natural cause)

Mini Bio (1)

Mischa Spoliansky, the distinguished composer who was born on December 28, 1898 in Bialystok, Russia, was forced forced to flee his native Russia after the Revolution of 1905 and then his adopted Germaany after the Hitler's rise to power. His family emigrated to Germany in 1905. The product of a musical family - he was the son of an opera singer - young Mischa was a prodigy, giving his first concert at the age of 10.

After studying music, Spoliansky joined the booming theatrical and cabaret life of Weimar Berlin, writing popular musical revues and establishing a reputation as a more upbeat version of Kurt Weill. Among the notable people of the theater he worked with were the director Max Reinhardt and the actress Marlene Dietrich. Spoliansky's musical "Zwei Krawatten" was filmed in 1930. He ven appeared as the Piano Man in a film, "Nie wieder Liebe" (1931).

In 1933, he moved his family to England, where he was commissioned by film-maker Alexander Korda of London Films to write the scores of "Sanders of the River" (1935), which won the prize for Best Music at the Venice Film Fesitval, and "The Ghost Goes West" (1935). He scored over 50 movies in his 40 years as a composer in England, including the original scores for "King Solomon's Mines" (1937) and Otto Preminger's "Saint Joan" (1957).

Known for writing music that well-suited the film, Spoliansky probably wasn't more famous because he did most of his composing for comedies, whereas better-known British composers such as Benjamim Britten and William Walton typically scored more prestigious dramatic pictures. His last score was for the somber "Hitler: The Last Ten Days" (1973).

Mischa Spoliansky died on June 28, 1985 in London, England of natural causes.

Interest in the late composer is on the rise: Spoliansky's 1931 musical comedy "Send for Mr Plim" was revived at Lodon's Battersea Arts Centre in 1999, where it received critical kudos and has since been re-staged across Europe, including a production at the Covent Garden Festival in 2000 and a 2001 radio broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Spoliansky's autobiography, edited by his daughter Irmgard, was slated to be published in Germany in 2004, with an English translation set to follow.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Trivia (2)

His daughter, the late stage actress Irmgard Spoliansky (a.k.a. Spoli Mills) one day when, returning home, came across her eccentric father standing in the Tube station at Hyde Park Corner with a hat beside him containing a few coins. When she inquired what he was doing, he told her that the harmonica player whose corner this was had gone for a drink and he was keeping an eye on things. "But why you?" his daughter asked. "He's a fellow musician," her father replied.
Father of actress Spoli Mills

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