Charles Koff

From Wind Repertory Project
Charles Koff


Charles Koff (1 May 1910, Durea, Penn. – 29 September 1977, Studio City, Calif.) was an American guitarist. composer and arranger.

 Koff studied with Sergei Prokofiev and Michael Fiveisky, but as an instrumentalist he was primarily self-taught.  Although a virtuoso guitarist, he could also play several other instruments.

During the World War II period, Koff served with the U.S. Navy in shipyard construction. Before and after the war, he played lead guitar in the bands of Harry James, the Dorsey Brothers, and  Duchin. He was a member of the George Olsen pit orchestra in several Broadway musicals, including Good News and Whoopee.

Joining CBS and NBC as an arranger, he also orchestrated for the Paramount Theatre Orchestra in New York and several music publishers. Coming to Hollywood in 1942, he composed for films and later, television. Joining ASCAP in 1951, his popular-song compositions include Captive Women, The Man from Planet X and Sword of Venus.

Koff is best known as orchestrator for trumpeter Raphael Mendez.  He was also the author of the textbook Harmony from the Science of Acoustics.

Works for Winds