Elmer Bernstein (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an
American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores. In a
career which spanned fifty years, he composed music for hundreds of film and
television productions. His most popular works include the scores to The
Magnificent Seven, The Ten Commandments, The Great Escape, To Kill a
Mockingbird, Ghostbusters, The Black Cauldron, Airplane!, and The Rookies.
Bernstein won an Oscar for his score to Thoroughly Modern
Millie (1967) and was nominated for fourteen Oscars in total. He also won two
Golden Globes and was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Bernstein wrote the theme songs or other music for more than
200 films and TV shows, including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The
Ten Commandments (1956), The Man with the Golden Arm, To Kill a Mockingbird,
Robot Monster, and the fanfare used in the National Geographic television
specials. His theme for The Magnificent Seven is also familiar to television
viewers, as it was used in commercials for Marlboro cigarettes. Bernstein also
provided the score to many of the short films of Ray and Charles Eames.
In 1961 Bernstein co-founded Äva Records an American record
label based in Los Angeles together with Fred Astaire, Jackie Mills and Tommy