Nathan Van Cleave

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(Nathan) Van Cleave, American composer, orchestrator, and arranger for film, television, and radio. Image c. 1960s.

Van Cleave (born Nathan Lang Van Cleave) (May 8, 1910 – July 3, 1970) was a gifted composer and orchestrator for film, television, and radio. He usually used "Van" as his first name.

Biography[edit]

Born in Bayfield, Wisconsin, he moved to New York City where he led his own band (the Van Cleave Orchestra) in the early 1930s, then played trumpet and arranged music for Charlie Barnet's orchestra.[1][2] He studied music with noted composer and music theorist Joseph Schillinger. He worked in radio, as a staff arranger for Paul Whiteman (1938–39), Andre Kostelanetz, and for CBS Radio.[3]

In 1933, he married Doris Blumenfeld, a Broadway chorus girl and the child of vaudeville actors of the German Blumenfeld circus family.[4]

In 1945, Van Cleave moved to Los Angeles to pursue his musical career. His film credits, as composer and orchestrator, include Cinerama Holiday, The Colossus of New York, Easter Parade, Funny Face, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, and White Christmas. In addition, he worked on many episodes of Gunsmoke and The Twilight Zone, where he pioneered the use of the theremin in television scores.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barnet, Charlie. Those Swinging Years: The Autobiography of Charlie Barnet. Da Capo Press, 1992, 46-51.
  2. ^ Rayno, Don. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music, 1930-1967. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012, 189.
  3. ^ Rayno, Don. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music, 1930-1967. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012, 492.
  4. ^ Doris Blumenfeld Van Cleave, Circus Blennow & Blumenfeld Genealogy Retrieved 20 September 2014

External links[edit]