T here cannot be many classical musicians whose testimonials would include Gustav Mahler, Aaron Copland, Bette Davis and Ronald Reagan, but one way or another the remarkable life of Erich Wolfgang Korngold enriched the existence of all of the above and more.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold at the piano

Perhaps the greatest classical music prodigy the world has known – even maybe the last – his ‘serious’ work was hailed as the music of the future before being forcibly consigned to the dustbin of history by the Nazis. His subsequent career, the music of which came to define the Golden Age of Hollywood, won him awards as well as legions of fans. Yet after the war, when he attempted to return to his homeland and his musical roots, the critics wouldn’t have a bar of it. One even went so far as to deride his...

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