The youngish conductor whisked the Oscar out of his overnight bag as soon as he passed his arrival gate at Stapleton International Airport—to the amazement of passersby and the delight of his two waiting young sons. –Rocky Mountain News, April 4, 1974
In 1974, Allan Miller, a 40 year-old conductor of special projects for the Denver Symphony Orchestra, did something amazing.
He returned home to Denver with an Academy Award.
Miller, along with his co-director William Fertik, took the prize in the Live Action Short Subject category for their 30-minute musical film The Bolero. The film documented the Los Angeles Philharmonic as they rehearsed and played the orchestral work Boléro by Maurice Ravel under the guidance of conductor Zubin Mehta. The Bolero premiered on PBS in February, 1973.
By the time Miller won his Oscar in 1974, he had been with the Denver Symphony Orchestra for four seasons. Miller's position included conducting and, "taking the orchestra where it hasn't been before." Miller sought out new orchestra audiences with light shows, rock operas, and street concerts.
Interested in learning more? The Western History and Genealogy Department's Denver Symphony Orchestra and Association Papers (WH941) includes correspondence, memos, press releases, and clippings that document Allan Miller's work with the organization during the 1970s.