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George Antheil

Antheil, George (ănˈtĪl) [key], 1900–1959, American composer, b. Trenton, N.J. He went to Europe in 1920 and became known for his iconoclastic approach to music. In 1927 a performance of his Ballet mécanique, scored for player piano, car horns, airplane propellers, and the like, caused a great stir among critics and concertgoers in New York City. Much of his early work, such as the opera Transatlantic (1930), reveals the influence of jazz. Antheil's later compositions include more traditional symphonies and sonatas. From 1936 on, he also composed music for Hollywood films. A man of diverse talents Antheil and actress Hedy Lamarr collaborated during World War II on the invention of a torpedo guidance system and an antiaircraft shell.

See his autobiography, Bad Boy of Music (1945, repr. 1990); biography by L. Whitesitt (1983).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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