Antheil George (1900–1959) By Templeton, Erin
George Johann Carl Antheil was an American composer, pianist, author, and inventor. He is best-known for his 1924 composition, Ballet Mechanique, originally scored for sixteen player pianos, two grand pianos, an assortment of percussion, three airplane propellers, and a siren. Antheil was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He began to study piano at age six and travelled first into Philadelphia and later into New York City for lessons. His time in these cities not only fostered Antheil’s musical development; it also introduced him to European art trends like Dadaism and to Alfred Steiglitz and Margaret Anderson, key members of the American avant-garde. A polymath, Antheil also wrote a detective novel, his own autobiography, a series of articles on endocrinology, and a regular movie music column. Finally, he collaborated with actress Hedy LaMarr in developing the famous technology that is the foundation for much wireless communication: Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular networks.