Rudolf Friml (1879-1972) is best remembered for his romantic 1920s operettas. Born in Prague, where he studied with Dvorak, Friml moved to the United States in 1906 and pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer. Beginning in 1912, he wrote music in different styles for Broadway, and in 1914, he joined Irving Berlin and Victor Herbert as charter members of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
William Everett examines Friml's wide-ranging career within the larger historical contexts of the American operetta, the Indianist movement, Francophilia, Orientalism, and romantic nostalgia. Friml's gift for evoking faraway times and places led to works like Rose Marie, with its Canadian setting, while his use of formulaic Native American motifs produced "Totem Tom Tom" and the popular (and oft-parodied) "Indian Love Call." Friml also created music for films, often based on his popular musicals. Parallel to this stage and screen activity, he composed piano concertos, orchestral works, and piano pieces and songs.