Arranger on MONSIEUR VERDOUX, Schrager was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary, and began his film career in 1939 contributing uncredited music to the score of STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE, along with Robert Russell Bennett, David Buttolph, Cyril J. Mockridge, Reginald Bassett, David Raksin, Edward Powell, and Louis Silvers. Silvers, the composer and conductor of the popular Lux Radio Theatre, hired Schrager as his rehearsal and orchestra pianist, and to serve as his assistant. In 1941, when the ASCAP ban forced Silvers (an ASCAP member) out of his compositional duties, Schrager took over composing and arranging for every episode. Schrager eventually took over the baton permanently in 1950.
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