(Agnes) Elisabeth Lutyens (9 July 1906 – 14 April 1983) was an English composer of classical music but is best known for her contribution for scores to horror films throughout the 1960’s.
Born in London, one of five children of the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and his wife Emily, Elisabeth studied composition at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, before accompanying her mother to India in 1923. On her return she studied with John Foulds and subsequently continued her musical education from 1926 to 1930 at the Royal College of Music in London as a pupil of Harold Darke.
Lutyens is credited with bringing the Schoenbergian serial technique to the world of film scores, not always employing or limiting herself to 12-note series; some works use a self-created 14-note progression. Schoenberg’s exploration of tonal and atonal music was a huge influence on Hammer’s early sound, the gloomy expressionism first evident in Benjamin Frankel’s 1960 score for The Curse of the Werewolf
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