SIGMUND ROMBERG (1887-1951) : Biography

Sigmund Romberg was born in a European town that had two names, because both Austria and Hungary claimed it (Gross-Kaniza to the Austrians and Nagykanizsa to the Hungarians).  He went to Vienna to study engineering and take composition lessons (as a child, he had learned to play the violin at six and the piano at eight).

He emigrated to America in 1909 and was hired by the Shubert Brothers to write music for their Broadway shows.  He wrote his first successful Broadway revue in 1914, The Whirl of the World (1914.01), contributed songs to The Passing Shows of 1916 and 1918 and wrote music for three Al Jolson vehicles (Robinson Crusoe, Jr.,1916.03, Sinbad,1918.05, and Bombo,1921.34).  

He wrote songs for a show that also had songs by Richard Rodgers (Poor Little Ritz Girl,1920.25) and wrote a show with George Gershwin (Rosalie,1928.03).

Like Rudolf Friml, Romberg is best known for his operettas; and, between 1917 and 1928, he had six major works on Broadway:  Maytime (1917.15), Blossom Time (1921.31), The Student Prince in Heidelberg (1924.45), The Desert Song (1926.42), My Maryland (1927.42) and The New Moon (1928.29).

He had a number of less popular shows and kept writing for Broadway through 1945.  After that, he conducted orchestral arrangements for his music for Columbia records from 1945 to 1950.