Sigmund Romberg

Sigmund Romberg

Sigmund Romberg, born Zsigmond Romberg (July 29, 1887, NagykanizsaNovember 9, 1951, New York, New York) was an American composer best known for his operettas.


Romberg was born to a Jewish family in the West-Hungarian provincial town of Nagykanizsa during the Austro-Hungarian K.u.K. Monarchy period. He went to Vienna to study engineering, but also took composition lessons while there. He moved to the United States in 1909 and, after a brief stint working in a pencil factory, was employed as a pianist in cafés. He eventually founded his own orchestra and published a few songs, which, despite their limited success, brought him to the attention of the Shubert brothers, who in 1914 hired him to write music for their Broadway theatre shows. That year he wrote his first successful Broadway revue, "The Whirl of the World".

Romberg's adaptation of melodies by Franz Schubert for "Blossom Time" (1921, produced in the UK as "Lilac Time") was a great success. He subsequently wrote his best-known operettas, "The Student Prince" (1924), "The Desert Song" (1926) and "The New Moon" (1928), which are in a style similar to the Viennese operettas of Franz Lehár. He also wrote "Rosalie" (1928) together with George Gershwin. His later works, such as "Up in Central Park" (1945), are closer to the American musical in style, but they were less successful. Romberg also wrote a number of film scores and adapted his own work for film.

Columbia Records asked Romberg to conduct orchestral arrangements of his music (which he had played in concerts) for a series of recordings from 1945 to 1950 that were issued both on 78-rpm and 33-1/3 rpm discs. These performances are now prized by record collectors. Naxos Records digitally remastered the recordings and issued them in the U.K. (They cannot be released in the U.S. because Sony BMG, which acquired Columbia Records, holds the copyright for their American release.) [Naxos website]

Much of Romberg's music, including extensive excerpts from his operettas, was released on LP during the 1950s and 1960s, especially by Columbia, Capitol, and RCA Victor. Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, who appeared in an MGM adaptation of "New Moon" in 1940, regularly recorded and performed his music. There have also been periodic revivals of the operettas.

Romberg died in 1951 in New York City and was interred in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

Romberg was the subject of the 1954 Stanley Donen-directed film "Deep in My Heart", in which he was portrayed by José Ferrer.

Operetta "New Moon" was base for a film with same title in 1940, with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in main roles.

"Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" and "Lover, Come Back to Me" from "New moon" are still jazz-blues / soft-jazz classics; the first was performed by many jazz performers, and second is best known as Billie Holiday performance.


*Ganzl, Kurt. "The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre" (3 Volumes). New York: Schirmer Books, 2001.
*Traubner, Richard. "Operetta: A Theatrical History". Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1983.
*Bordman, Gerald. "American Operetta". New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.
*Clarke, Kevin. "Im Himmel spielt auch schon die Jazzband." Emmerich Kálmán und dir transatlantische Operette 1928–1932". Hamburg: von Bockel Verlag, 2007 (examines the connection between Kálmán's jazz-operettas of the 1920s and Romberg's scores; in German)

External links

*ibdb name|id=8686|name=Sigmund Romberg
*imdb name|id=0739146|name=Sigmund Romberg
* [ List of Romberg's stage works]
* [ histocial reviews and a biography/worklist] by Kurt Gänzl

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sigmund Romberg — (* 29. Juli 1887 in Nagykanizsa; † 9. November 1951 in New York) war ein amerikanischer Komponist ungarischer Herkunft. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 1.1 Herkunft und Ausbildung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sigmund Romberg — est un compositeur américain né le 29 juillet 1887 à Nagykanizsa (Autriche Hongrie), décédé le 9 novembre 1951 à New York (États Unis). Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sigmund Romberg — noun United States composer (born in Hungary) who composed operettas (1887 1951) • Syn: ↑Romberg • Instance Hypernyms: ↑composer * * * Sigmund Romberg [Sigmund Romberg] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sigmund Romberg — ➡ Romberg * * * …   Universalium

  • Romberg — bezeichnet folgende Orte: einen Ortsteil der Stadt Waldbröl in Nordrhein Westfalen, siehe Romberg (Waldbröl) einen Ortsteil von Leverkusen im Stadtteil Pattscheid/Bergisch Neukirchen mit deutschem Namen die Gemeinde Remiremont in Frankreich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Romberg — is a German surname which may refer to:* Andreas Romberg (1767 – 1821), German composer, violinist * Bernhard Romberg (1767–1841), German cellist and composer * Brett Romberg (born 1979), American football player * Moritz Heinrich Romberg… …   Wikipedia

  • Sigmund — ist ein Vorname und Familienname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Vorname 2.2 Familienname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sigmund (disambiguation) — Sigmund or Siegmund may refer to:* Sigmund (also Siegmund), a hero in Norse mythology * Sigmund Freud, the Austrian psychologist * Sigmund Jähn, an East German cosmonaut * Sigmund Romberg, a Hungarian composer * Sigmund (comics), Doctor Sigmund,… …   Wikipedia

  • Sigmund — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sigmund est un prénom d origine germanique, variation de Siegmund. Il est notamment porté par : Sigmund Freud, principal théoricien de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Romberg, Sigmund — born July 29, 1887, Nagykanizsa, Austria Hungary died Nov. 9, 1951, New York, N.Y., U.S. Hungarian born U.S. composer. Romberg studied engineering and composition in Vienna, becoming a skilled violinist and organist. In 1909 he went to New York… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”