My Favorite Film Composers

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1.
Hans Zimmer
German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood's most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles' single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to be aired on MTV (August 1, 1981)...
“ Favorite scores of his:

Gladiator
The Last Samurai
Black Rain
The Thin Red Line
The Lion King ” - jdkraus
 
2.
John Williams
As one of the best known, awarded, and financially successful composers in US history, John Williams is as easy to recall as John Philip Sousa, Aaron Copland or Leonard Bernstein, illustrating why he is "America's composer" time and again. With a massive list of awards that includes over 41 Oscar nominations (five wins)...
“ Favorite scores of his:

E.T.
Schindler's List
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Superman
Star Wars: A New Hope ” - jdkraus
 
3.
Ennio Morricone
A classmate of director Sergio Leone with whom he would form one of the great director/composer partnerships (right up there with Eisenstein & Prokofiev, Hitchcock & Herrmann, Fellini & Rota), Ennio Morricone studied at Rome's Santa Cecilia Conservatory, where he specialized in trumpet. His first film scores were relatively undistinguished...
“ Favorite scores of his:

The Mission
Cinema of Paradise
Once Upon A Time in the West
The Untouchables ” - jdkraus
 
4.
Jerry Goldsmith
Music Department, Total Recall
Born on February 10, 1929, Jerry Goldsmith studied piano with Jakob Gimpel and composition, theory, and counterpoint with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also attended classes in film composition given by Miklós Rózsa at the Univeristy of Southern California. In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS...
“ Favorite scores of his:

Total Recall
The Omen
The 13th Warrior
Chinatown ” - jdkraus
 
5.
Elmer Bernstein
Music Department, Airplane!
Elmer Bernstein was educated at the Walden School and New York University. He served in the US Army Air Corps in World War II. A prolific and respected film music composer, he was a protégé of Aaron Copland, who studied music with Roger Sessions and Stefan Wolpe. Bernstein worked in various artistic endeavors...
“ Favorite scores of his:

The Magnificent Seven
The Ten Commandments
Far From Heaven ” - jdkraus
 
6.
“ Favorite scores of his:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Silence of the Lambs
Gangs of New York ” - jdkraus
 
7.
Maurice Jarre
Unlike many musicians who started to learn music while still in their childhood, Maurice Jarre was already late in his teens when he discovered music and decided to make a career in that field. Against his father's will, he enrolled at Conservatoire de Paris where he studied percussions, composition and harmonies...
“ Favorite scores of his:

Born Free
Doctor Zhivago
The Year of Living Dangerously
Witness ” - jdkraus
 
8.
James Newton Howard
James Newton Howard attended the University of Southern California's music school, but dropped out to tour with Elton John, and eventually compose music for film and television. He started with Head Office in 1985. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. He currently is a songwriter, record producer, conductor, keyboardist, and film composer.
“ Favorite scores of his:

Signs
Blood Diamond
Defiance ” - jdkraus
 
9.
Bernard Herrmann
Music Department, Kill Bill: Vol. 1
The man behind the low woodwinds that open Citizen Kane, the shrieking violins of Psycho, and the plaintive saxophone of Taxi Driver was one of the most original and distinctive composers ever to work in film. He started early, winning a composition prize at the age of 13 and founding his own orchestra at the age of 20...
“ Favorite scores of his:

North By Northwest
Psycho
Taxi Driver ” - jdkraus
 
10.
Danny Elfman
Music Department, Corpse Bride
As Danny Elfman was growing up in the Los Angeles area, he was largely unaware of his talent for composing. It wasn't until the early 1970s that Danny and his older brother Richard Elfman started a musical troupe while in Paris; the group "Mystic Knights of Oingo-Boingo" was created for Richard's directorial debut...
“ Favorite scores of his:

Nightmare Before Christmas
Batman
Planet of the Apes ” - jdkraus
 
11.
“ Favorite scores of his:

Super 8
Lost
Up
Star Trek ” - jdkraus
 
12.
“ Favorite scores of his:

Requiem for a Dream
The Fountain
Noah ” - jdkraus
 
13.
Thomas Newman
Music Department, WALL·E
Thomas Newman is an American film score composer. He was born in Los Angeles. His father was notable film score composer Alfred Newman (1900-1970). The Newman family is of Russian-Jewish descent, and includes several other well-known musicians. Thomas' mother Martha Louis Montgomery (1920-2005) wanted her sons to have a musical education...
“ Favorite scores of his:

Road To Perdition
Wall-e
The Shawshank Redemption ” - jdkraus
 
14.
Vangelis
Soundtrack, Collateral
Vangelis is a composer and performer who works almost exclusively with electronic instruments. He is probably most well known for his Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks or for the tracks used in the Cosmos television series. He has been involved in many musical collaborations, most famously with Jon Anderson.
“ Favorite scores of his:

Chariots of Fire
Blade Runner
Alexander
1492: Conquest of Paradise ” - jdkraus
 
15.
James Horner
Music Department, Titanic
James Horner began studying piano at the age of five, and trained at the Royal College of Music in London, England, before moving to California in the 1970s. After receiving a bachelor's degree in music at USC, he would go on to earn his master's degree at UCLA and teach music theory there. He later completed his Ph.D...
“ Favorite scores of his:

Braveheart
Titanic
Cocoon
An American Tail
The Mask of Zorro ” - jdkraus