Irwin Kostal was an American musical arranger of films and an orchestrator of Broadway musicals, who arranged and conducted scores to Disney films, like Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Pete's Dragon, and the 1982 digital rescoring of 1940's Fantasia.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Kostal attended Harrison Technical High School, but opted not to attend college, instead teaching himself musical arranging by studying the symphonic scores available at his local library. His first professional job was as a staff arranger for Design for Listening, an NBC radio show based in his hometown.
After moving to New York City, Kostal was hired for Sid Caesar's popular variety series Your Show of Shows and followed this with a stint at The Garry Moore Show. His work in television led to work with the likes of Carol Burnett, Maurice Chevalier, Lucille Ball, Dick Van Dyke, and Julie Andrews.
Soon, he began orchestrating Broadway productions, such as Shinbone Alley, The Music Man, Gigi, Fiorello!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and West Side Story where he also co-scored the 1961 film version, which earned him a Grammy and Academy Award respectively. He would continue to arrange and orchestrate music for other films, such as The Sound of Music, The Magic of Lassie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Half a Sixpence, Charlotte's Web, and the 1976 remake of 20th Century Fox's The Blue Bird.
|1964||Mary Poppins||music arranger|
|1971||Bedknobs and Broomsticks||music arranger|
|1982||Fantasia Rescored Edition||conductor|
|1983||Mickey's Christmas Carol||Composer|
Songwriter: "Oh What a Merry Christmas Day"
|1985||The Walt Disney Comedy and Magic Revue||archive footage|
|2001||Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse||archive music: "Oh What a Merry Christmas Day"|
|2009||The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story||archive music: Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks|