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Oscar Hammerstein II Quotes

Oscar Hammerstein II
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II
  • Born: 12th July 1895, New York City, U.S.
  • Died: 23rd August 1960, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Alma mater: Columbia University
  • Occupation: Librettist and theatrical producer
  • Facts unusual: He is the only man called Oscar who has ever been awarded an Oscar
  • Major awards: 2 Academy Awards for best song in 1941 and 1945, 8 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize in 1944
  • Nickname: Ockie
  • Height: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
  • Trivia: He teamed up with Richard Rodgers and they formed the formidable Rogers and Hammerstein partnership who dominated theatrical musical writing during the 1940's and 1950's
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"It is a modern tragedy that despair has so many spokesmen, and hope so few"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"Somebody new always crops up. It may be in a new form, or he may write in a new way - you never can be sure exactly how - but sooner or later a new guy shows up and he comes through"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"Any professional author will scoff at the implication that he spends his time hoping and waiting for a magic spark to start him off.... Nobody waits to be inspired"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"Peace is not the product of a victory or a command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"A bell's not a bell 'til you ring it, A song's not a song 'til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay, Love isn't love 'til you give it away"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"Aside from my shortcomings as a wit and rhymester, or perhaps, because of them, my inclinations lead me to a more primitive type of lyric"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"The definition of a producer: An idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler and a stage-struck child"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"We are made sad or happy, romantic, thoughtful, disturbed or peaceful by someone else's singing heart"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"If you really believe in the brotherhood of man, and you want to come into its fold, you've got to let everyone else in, too"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"Everyone speaks and writes words. Few can write music. It's creation is a mystery"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"I hand him a lyric and get out of his way" [about Richard Rodgers]

Oscar Hammerstein II

"For when I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"Be brave, young lovers, and follow your star"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"If you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught"

Oscar Hammerstein II

"But I'm only a cockeyed optimist"

Oscar Hammerstein II
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Oscar Hammerstein II Biography

Oscar Hammerstein II was born into what could be considered theatrical aristocracy with his father William Hammerstein being a successful vaudeville producer while his grandfather Oscar Hammerstein was a theater producer who owned the Hammerstein Grand Opera Company.

His education was guiding the young Hammerstein to a career in law but the draw of the bright lights of Broadway was in his blood and he dismissed the bar in favour of the stage and began a theatre apprenticeship. It didn't take long before his writing was noticed and he was teaming up with successful composers including his most successful collaboration with Richard Rodgers.

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Their first big success was Oklahoma but many more masterpieces were to follow such as Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound Of Music. Indeed the song Edelweiss written for The Sound Of Music was to be the last song he created before his untimely death in 1960.

Other famous composers he worked with included Jerome Kern and Kern together with Hammerstein and Rodgers are often credited with firmly establishing the musical as an enhanced way of enhancing the plot and deepening the characters persona rather than adding songs for mere decorative purposes.

Undoubtedly one of the theatre greats of the 20th century when he uttered his philosophical tones they had great meaning within the industry and people listened. He was good for a one liner too, so this is my compilation of 15 of the best Oscar Hammerstein II quotes

Quotes About Oscar Hammerstein II

He mentored the composer Stephen Sondheim who paid him this tribute: "His work tended to make people think of him as an unsophisticated, platitudinous hick, when in fact he was a highly intelligent, strongly principled, and philosophical man"

The composer Richard Rodgers spoke of his work ethic and source of inspiration: "He's a meticulously hard worker and yet he'll roam the grass of his farm for hours and sometimes for days before he can bring himself to put a word on paper"

Oscar Hammerstein II image quote