Fred Steiner is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator and arranger for television, radio and film, born February 24, 1923, in New York, New York. He received a degree in music composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1943. He was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Oberlin College in 2007.
Steiner has written for a number of television series that enjoyed great popularity in their day or in syndication. The most auspicious are the many episodes of the original series of Star Trek to which he contributed original scores (more than any other composer). (An article he wrote for the Library of Congress, "Music for Star Trek: Scoring a Television Show in the Sixties", authoritatively outlines and defines the contributions of all the original underscore composers of this series.) Another of Steiner's famous works, "Park Avenue Beat", was used from 1957 to 1966 as the theme song to Perry Mason and was re-recorded by Dick DeBenedictis for the subsequent made-for-TV movies in 1985. Steiner also composed the main theme to The Bullwinkle Show and Follow That Man and contributed music to episodes of Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, and Amazing Stories.
His feature film work includes original music (Run for the Sun, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre) and orchestration/adaptation (sometimes uncredited) for other composers (among them are Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).
His Academy Award nomination for "Best Music, Original Score" is for The Color Purple (1985). It was a shared nomination with Quincy Jones, Jeremy Lubbock, Rod Temperton, Caiphus Semenya, Andraé Crouch, Chris Boardman, Jorge Calandrelli, Joel Rosenbaum, Jack Hayes, Jerry Hey, and Randy Kerber.
Steiner holds a doctorate in Musicology from the University of Southern California (1981). His thesis was about the early career of composer Alfred Newman. Scholarly articles on film music appear in The Cue Sheet, Film Music Quarterly and the Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress.
Steiner is the father of singer/songwriter Wendy Waldman.