Walter Eiger

Walter (Wladislaw or Wladyslaw) Eiger. Pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, b Lodz, Poland, 6 Feb 1917, naturalized Canadian ca 1955. Eiger received his musical training in France, at the University of Grenoble and the École normale de musique in Paris.
Walter (Wladislaw or Wladyslaw) Eiger. Pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, b Lodz, Poland, 6 Feb 1917, naturalized Canadian ca 1955. Eiger received his musical training in France, at the University of Grenoble and the École normale de musique in Paris.


Eiger, Walter

Walter (Wladislaw or Wladyslaw) Eiger. Pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, b Lodz, Poland, 6 Feb 1917, naturalized Canadian ca 1955. Eiger received his musical training in France, at the University of Grenoble and the École normale de musique in Paris. He wrote scores for Polish films, and was accompanist for the singers Charles Trenet and Patachou, with whom he appeared in Montreal at the end of the 1940s. Eiger settled in Canada in the early 1950s and worked as conductor and arranger for the CBC TV programs "Feux de joie," "Silhouette," "Quartiers de Paris," "Domino," and "Music-Hall."

Among Eiger's compositions were a Concerto grosso for jazz ensemble and symphony orchestra; American Youth Overture; the overture Hello Paris; and Overture on Canadian Folk Tunes, written around 1949 and revised in 1978, performed by the Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec symphony orchestras and at New York's Radio City Music Hall. In 1954 the CBC commissioned his Orchestral Fantasy on "J'entends le moulin." He also composed the music for the National Film Board film Royal Journey. Eiger collaborated with Charles Trenet to write popular songs, one of which, "I Live for You" (originally "En avril à Paris," words by Carl Sigman) was inducted by the US Songwriters Hall of Fame. In the mid-1950s Eiger led a studio orchestra for other singers' recordings. He arranged some songs of Lionel Daunais.

Eiger was an orchestrator for Broadway shows including The Music Man (1961) and Oh, Captain! (1968), for Maurice Chevalier, and for the comedian Victor Borge's TV shows. Between 1967 and 1970 he was an arranger at Radio City Music Hall, for whose Canadian Centennial Show he composed an Ouverture Canadienne based, like his earlier work in the genre, on Canadian folk tunes. In 1960 he began teaching at several universities in the US, notably at Pensacola, Fla; he later taught at Montreal's Concordia University beginning in 1978. He was a member of CAPAC.

Writings
"My most successful work: Overture on Canadian Folk Tunes," Canadian Composer, March 1968

"Who's behind the arrangement?" Music Journal, Jan 1971


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