Bernard Herrmann (June 29, 1911 – December 24, 1975) was an American composer noted for his work in motion pictures.
An Academy Award-winner (for The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941), Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also composed notable scores for many other movies, including Citizen Kane, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cape Fear, and Taxi Driver. He worked extensively in radio drama (most notably for Orson Welles), composed the scores for several fantasy films by Ray Harryhausen, and many TV programs including most notably Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone and Have Gun–Will Travel.
Herrmann, the son of a Jewish middle class family of Russian origin, was born in New York City. He attended elementary and high school in Manhattan. His father encouraged music activity, taking him to the opera, and encouraging him to learn the violin. After winning a $100 composition prize at the age of thirteen, he decided to concentrate on music, and went to New York University where he studied with Percy Grainger and Philip James. He also studied at the Juilliard School and, at the age of twenty, formed his own orchestra, The New Chamber Orchestra of New York.