April 2016
Behind the photograph: Hollywood portfolio, Dimitri Tiomkin

Tiomkin by Allan Grant

Dimitri Tiomkin photographed by Allan Grant for Life magazine, 1955

Life magazine excelled at photojournalism in the 20th century, covering society, politics, culture, and more.

Photographer Allan Grant took pictures of all the stars in Hollywood for the beloved periodical.

In the photo above from 1955, Tiomkin is apparently demonstrating a song from Giant while seated at the piano. Grant snapped the pic for the magazine’s “Hollywood portfolio.”

Forty-seven prints were made on August 20, 1955, although curiously the back of the photo is also stamped May 20, 1955.

In 2011, the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) featured a more dramatic photo from the same shoot on their homepage.

READ: SCL home page tributes Tiomkin

That article stated that the “magazine assigned Grant to shadow Tiomkin during post-production on the George Stevens film in September of 1956.”

An images of Tiomkin at the podium with James Dean onscreen and a trio of musicians in the foreground can be viewed on Getty Images.

The date attached to that image is September 1, 1956.

(Seventh in an occasional series featuring rare or unusual photographs.)


6. Behind the photograph: The Great Waltz

5. Behind the photograph: Leonard Liebling

4. Behind the photograph: Rhapsody in Blue

3. Behind the photograph: Hairston and Tiomkin

2. Behind the photograph: Tansman and Tiomkin

1. Behind the photograph (Dimitri Tiomkin with His Excellency the High Commissioner for Kenya, Mr. Ng-Ethe Njoroge and Mrs. Njoroge at the London premiere of Tchaikovsky)

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