Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II was born on July 12, 1895 in New York City.
In 1919 Hammerstein's first play, THE LIGHT, was produced by his Uncle Arthur; it lasted four performances. His first success, with Harbach, Vincent Youmans and Herbert Stothart, was WILDFLOWER in 1923. With Jerome Kern, Hammerstein wrote eight musicals, including SWEET ADELINE, MUSIC IN THE AIR and their masterwork, SHOW BOAT. His last musical before embarking on an exclusive partnership with Richard Rodgers was CARMEN JONES, the highly-acclaimed 1943 all-black revision of Georges Bizet's tragic opera CARMEN.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein partnership began with OKLAHOMA! (1943) and was the start of the most successful partnership in Broadway history and was followed by CAROUSEL, ALLEGRO, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, ME AND JULIET, PIPE DREAM, FLOWER DRUM SONG, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical specifically for the big screen -- STATE FAIR -- and one for television -- CINDERELLA. Collectively, their musicals have garnered dozens of awards including: Pulitzer Prizes; Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys; and Drama Desk, Drama Critics’ Circle, Outer Critics’ Circle, Laurence Olivier, and Evening Standard Awards.
THE COMPLETE LYRICS OF OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2008.