Saturday, November 11, 2017

Who Are Those Composers? ~ Martin Böttcher

Martin Hermann Böttcher was born in Berlin, Germany on June 17, 1927. During World War II, as a prisoner of war, Böttcher managed to get hold of a guitar and taught himself to play it. After he war he began his career as a solo guitarist at Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk. At first, Böttcher concentrated on jazz, and became the number two guitarist in a German jazz poll. He also gained important experience as an arranger for film composers, among them Michael Jary and Hans-Martin Majewski, for whom he arranged part of the music for Liebe '47.

Thanks to producer Artur Brauner, Böttcher made his cinematic debut in the year 1955 he wrote the music for his first film “The Captain and His Hero” (1955). Already his next movie “Teenage Wolfpack” (1956), was a great artistic success for himself. He became one of the busiest composers for Cinema and TV in Germany.

Böttcher found his greatest success in the 1960s composing the score for ten of the Karl May films, the first being “The Treasure of Silver Lake” with the famous "Old-Shatterhand-Melodie". The films starred, among many others, American actor Lex Barker and British actor Stewart Granger. The audience was enthusiastic about the wistful melodies, the fanfare-like music accompanying attacks, and the cheerful hillbilly tunes. Martin Böttcher's main themes from these films reached top positions in the German charts and sold thousands of records. The music for the Winnetou films is a landmark in German film music history. The success of these films, accompanied by Böttcher's music, made possible the "Spaghetti Westerns" with the music of Ennio Morricone.

With the German film industry declining at the end of the 1960s Martin Böttcher increasingly focused on working for German TV, which benefited from his talents in many films and series produced for TV.

All in all Böttcher composed music for about 60 Films and 100 television productions. In 2016 his music was used in a modified version in the TV mini-series ‘Winnetou - Das Geheimnis vom Silbersee’, ‘Winnetou - Der letzte Kampf’. Today he splits his time between homes in Sardinia and in Lugano.

BOTTCHER, Martin (aka(aka Martin Boetcher, Martin Boettcher, Martin Böttcher | Michael Thomas) (Martin Hermann Böttcher) [6/17/1927, Berlin, Berlin, Germany -     ] – composer, conductor, arranger, songwriter, musician (guitar), actor, married to actress Anneliese Kaplan [1933-    ] (19??-    ) father of one child.
The Treasure of Silver Lake* – 1962
Apache Gold* – 1963
Frontier Hellcat* - 1964
Last of the Renegades* – 1964
Desperado Trail* - 1965
Flaming Frontier* – 1965
Rampage at Apache Wells* - 1965
The Halfbreed* – 1966
The Man With the Long Gun* – 1968
Winnetou’s Return* (TV) – 1998
Auf den Spuren Winnetous (TV) – 2004
Winnetou und der Schatz der Marikopas – 2006
Brotherhood - The Legend of Winnetou Returns (TV) – 2015 (co)
Winnetou - Der letzte Kampf* – 2016 (co)

*Music available on CD

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