Maria Newman is the seventh and youngest child of nine-time Academy Award Winning film composer, Alfred Newman. Born on March 17th, 1900, in New Haven, Connecticut to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Alfred Newman first made a name for himself as a piano prodigy at the young age of eight. By the time he was twelve, Newman was accompanying famed singers at theaters such as the Strand Theatre (Brooklyn) in order to supplement income for his parents and siblings. From here, he began touring the vaudeville circuit before becoming a full-time conductor on Broadway. During his decade-long tenure on Broadway, Alfred Newman conducted works for such lauded composers as George Gershwin, (with whom he had a life-long friendship), Richard Rogers, and Jerome Kern.
Alfred Newman's Hollywood debut came in 1930, when composer and songwriter Irving Berlin invited him to conduct the latter's score to the film Reaching for the Moon. Due to creative differences between Irving Berlin and the film's director, Edmund Goulding, Berlin stepped back from the project, and Newman received music directing credit.
During his forty years in the film industry, Alfred Newman was nominated for 45 Academy Awards, of which he won 9, making him the most decorated composer and musical director in the history of the Academy.
Ms. Newman's mother was Goldwyn Girl and actress, Martha Montgomery. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Martha Montgomery began her career with Powers Modeling Agency, before moving to Hollywood and becoming one of the Goldwyn Girls, whose notable alumni include Lucille Ball and Betty Grable. Montgomery appeared in such films as The Inner Circle as Anne Travis Lowe and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty alongside Danny Kaye.
Together, Alfred Newman and Martha Montgomery have five children - Lucy Newman, the late Alfred Moss Newman, and composers David, Thomas, and Maria Newman. Alfred Newman has two children from earlier marriages - Award-winning Director Tim Newman and the late Tony Newman.
Maria Newman's elder brother, Thomas Newman, is a highly regarded film composer, having composed the scores to such popular hits as American Beauty, The Shawshank Redemption, Skyfall, and Finding Nemo. Thomas Newman has won multiple Grammy and BAFTA awards for his compositions, as well as a Primetime Emmy and multiple nominations for a Golden Globe. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score fifteen times, and is tied with composer Alex North for the most Oscar nominations without a win.
Maria Newman's elder brother, David Newman, is also a highly regarded film composer, having composed the scores to such popular successes as Anastasia, Matilda, and Galaxy Quest. Most recently, David Newman collaborated with Stephen Spielberg as adapter and arranger on the latter's upcoming screen adaptation of West Side Story. David Newman is a Principal Conductor with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Ms. Newman's first cousin is composer and singer-songwriter Randy Newman. Randy Newman is perhaps best known for his comedic, often satirical writing style on classics such as Short People and I Love LA. His song-writing, recording, and touring career has spanned nearly 60 years and continues today. In addition to his success as a singer-songwriter, Randy Newman has composed the scores to such classics as Pixar's the Toy Story series,
Ragtime, Monsters, Inc., Pleasantville, and The Princess and the Frog. He received Academy Award Nominations for Best Original Score for his work on Ragtime (1982), The Natural (1985), Avalon (1991), Toy Story (1996), James and the Giant Peach (1997), Pleasantville (1999), A Bug's Life (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2002), and Marriage Story (2020). Perhaps even more well-known than his studio albums are the iconic songs Randy Newman has written for his Disney/Pixar collaborative works. These include, "You've Got A Friend In Me" from Toy Story, and "I Wouldn't Have Nothing If I Didn't Have You" from Monsters Inc. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song thirteen times, winning twice for "If I Didn't Have You" from Monsters Inc., and "We Belong Together" from Toy Story III.
Maria Newman's extended family includes music director and conductor, Emil Newman, conductor and film composer, Lionel Newman, (a favorite collaborator of Marilyn Monroe), film and television composer Joey Newman, film producer Caroll Newman, and head of Music for Visual Media at the William Morris Endeavor Agency, Amos Newman.
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Alfred Newman conducts a score at Fox Studios.
Alfred Newman conducts a score at Fox Studios.