My favorite composers.

I love film music. The emotions it can arouse. The power it can express. I also love the people who bring it to life.
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1.
John Addison
Music Department, Murder, She Wrote
 
2.
David Arnold
Music Department, Stargate SG-1
 
3.
Richard Band
Composer, Re-Animator
Brother to filmmaker Charles Band and son to veteran producer Albert Band, Richard Band is often similar to other film composers like Robert O. Ragland and Lalo Schifrin. The Band family has had a history of filmmaking. Richard's brother Charles, became a known executive producer when he founded Empire Entertainment...
 
4.
John Barry
Music Department, Juke Box Jury
John Barry was born in York, England in 1933, and was the youngest of three children. His father, Jack, owned several local cinemas and by the age of fourteen, Barry was capable of running the projection box on his own - in particular, The Rialto in York. As he was brought up in a cinematic environment...
 
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6.
Elmer Bernstein
Music Department, Cape Fear
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...
 
7.
Terence Blanchard
Composer, Inside Man
A world renowned trumpeter/composer/band leader and Blue Note recording artist, Terence Blanchard is the most prolific jazz musician to ever compose for motion pictures. Blanchard was born and raised in New Orleans where he studied with the Marsalis brothers at the famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts...
 
8.
Bruce Broughton
Music Department, Tombstone
Bruce Broughton composes in almost every medium, from theatrical motion pictures and television to computer games, in styles ranging from large symphonic settings ("Silverado") to contemporary electronic scores (the recently Emmy-nominated "The Dive from Clausen's Pier"). Broughton has written the scores...
 
9.
Carter Burwell
Music Department, Fargo
 
10.
John Carpenter
Writer, Halloween
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles...
 
11.
Bill Conti
Music Department, Falcon Crest
 
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14.
Pino Donaggio
Composer, Carrie
Born in Burano (Venice) in 1941, Pino Donaggio studied violin at the Conservatory of Venice and Milan. After a period of adolescent performer of classical music with the Solisti Veneti and the Soloists of Milan, in 1959 he began to devote himself to the pop music that soon led to international success...
 
15.
Patrick Doyle
Actor, Brave
Patrick Doyle is a classically trained composer. His first film score, the acclaimed adaptation of "Henry V" with Kenneth Branagh for Renaissance films was scored in 1989. He has subsequently worked with Kenneth Branagh, a long time collaborator on numerous pictures including "Dead Again", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Frankenstein" and "Hamlet"...
 
16.
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...
 
17.
George Fenton
Music Department, Gandhi
 
18.
Robert Folk
Robert Folk is a graduate and former faculty member of the famed Juilliard School in New York City. Since completing his Doctorate, Mr. Folk has composed and conducted the musical scores for over 65 feature films. His extensive credits include Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, _Nothing To Lose (1997) Tremors...
 
19.
Charles Fox
Music Department, Barbarella
Graduated High School of Music & Art in New York, then studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In addition to extensive film and TV work, composed music for hit songs including "Killing Me Softly With His Song", "I Got A Name" and "Ready To Take A Chance Again". Classical compositions include two full length ballets: "Song For Dead Warriors" (San Franciso Ballet Company...
 
21.
Philip Glass
Music Department, The Truman Show
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Glass worked in his father's radio store and discovered music listening to the offbeat Western classical records customers didn't seem to want. He studied the violin and flute, and obtained early admission to the University of Chicago. After graduating in mathematics and philosophy...
 
22.
Elliot Goldenthal
Composer, Heat
Elliot Goldenthal is an Academy Award-winning composer best known for his original music scores for such films as Frida and Across the Universe, among his other works. He was born on May 2, 1954, in Brooklyn, New York. His father was a house-painter, and his mother was a seamstress. Young Goldenthal was fond of music and theatre...
 
23.
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...
 
24.
Miles Goodman
Goodman attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. (There is now a scholarship there bearing his name.) At Antioch, he was an English major. Goodman studied Shakespeare in London and originally desired to be a director. He studied with private music teachers including Albert Harris and instead became involved in composing music and producing albums.
 
25.
Ron Goodwin
Music Department, Where Eagles Dare
Ron Goodwin was born on 17th February 1925 in Plymouth. He was the son of a London policeman who was detached to the harbour-town. His mother felt that piano lessons would be a good pastime, so in his fifth year, the little Ron was hoisted onto a piano-stool and his education on this instrument began. Ron himself was at that time not really convinced about that parental ambition...
 
27.
Marvin Hamlisch
Music Department, The Spy Who Loved Me
Composer, songwriter ("Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows"), and conductor, educated at the Professional Children's School, Juilliard, and Queens College. He was the musical director for Equity Library Theatre productions, and wrote songs for Liza Minnelli and for Julius Monk's 'Upstairs at the Downstairs' revues...
 
28.
Neal Hefti
Music Department, The Odd Couple
Composer ("'Batman' Theme), conductor, arrager and trumpeter, educated in high school and through private music study. He was a trumpeter and arranger with dance orchestras including those of Harry James, Woody Herman, and Charlie Spivak between 1941 and 1951. He was a staff arranger and arranger for the "Arthur Godfrey Show" and the "Kate Smith Show" over ABC...
 
29.
Bernard Herrmann
Music Department, Citizen Kane
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...
 
30.
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.
 
31.
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...
 
32.
Michael Kamen
Music Department, Lethal Weapon
 
33.
Rolfe Kent
Music Department, Dexter
 
34.
Michael J. Lewis
Michael J Lewis, the award winning composer and producer was born in Aberystwyth, Wales. He trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied harmony, counterpoint and composition. His many film scores include Julius Caesar starring Charlton Heston, The Medusa Touch starring 'Richard Burton'...
 
35.
Daniel Licht
Composer, Dexter
Daniel Licht was born in March 1957. Growing up in Detoit he first started playing music at high school and later studied jazz and composition at Hampshire College, Massachusetts. Upon graduating he moved to New York, establishing himself on the music scene but using the city as a base to compose internationally for stage and dance companies...
 
36.
Henry Mancini
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, but brought up in Pennsylvania, where he played the flute in a local band, as a youth, before sending some arrangements to Benny Goodman. Goodman offered him a job and, after serving in WWII, he joined the rearranged Glenn Miller band. In 1952, he was given a two-week assignment...
 
37.
Johnny Mandel
Music Department, M*A*S*H
 
38.
Hummie Mann
Two-time Emmy-award winning composer/arranger Hummie Mann has collaborated with some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors in both theatrical and television films. His motion pictures projects have ranged from Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" to Peter Yates' "Year of the Comet", the children's...
 
39.
Kevin Manthei
Kevin Manthei has been working in the film, television and game arena for nearly 20 years. He has worked as the series composer on six animated TV shows - representing over 200 half hour episodes, composed over 50 game soundtracks, has made a mark composing music for independent films, as well as contributing additional music on many well-known feature films...
 
40.
Bear McCreary
Bear McCreary is a degreed graduate of the prestigious USC Thornton School of Music (in 'Composition and Recording Arts'). Bear McCreary was one of a small and select group of proteges of the late, many-honored film composer Elmer Bernstein. Although he is now firmly in the mainstream of film composition...
 
41.
Mark McKenzie
Music Department, Spider-Man
Mark McKenzie studied composition with renown classical composers Pierre Boulez, Witold Lutoslawski, and Morten Lauridsen among others. After becoming the first Composition graduate at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and earning his Masters in Composition at the University of Southern CA, Mark...
 
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44.
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...
 
45.
John Morris
Music Department, Young Frankenstein
 
46.
David Newman
Composer, Ice Age
In his 25 year career, David Newman has scored over 100 films, ranging from War of the Roses, Matilda, Bowfinger and Heathers, to the more recent The Spirit, Serenity, and Alvin and the Chipmonks: The Squeakuel. Newman's music has brought to life the critically acclaimed dramas Brokedown Palace and Hoffa; top-grossing comedies Norbit...
 
47.
Randy Newman
Music Department, Toy Story 3
 
48.
Thomas Newman
Music Department, WALL·E
 
49.
Julian Nott
Studied music at Oxford University and film music scoring at the National Film and Television School (UK). Came to prominence as composer for all three of Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit films.
 
50.
John Ottman
John Ottman holds dual distinctions as a leading film composer and an award winning film editor. Ottman has often completed both monumental tasks on the same films. Such remarkable double duties have included The Usual Suspects, X-Men 2, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, and Jack the Giant Killer. He has also held producer roles on several of these films...
 
51.
 
52.
Amotz Plessner
Composer, Haters Back Off
Composer Amotz Plessner's compelling music can be heard in a variety of film genres. A citizen of the USA, Israel and Germany, Plessner spent his formative rock and roll years in Tel Aviv. After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, in addition to scoring over twenty films and numerous TV shows...
 
53.
Terry Plumeri
Music Department, One False Move
Terry Plumeri (b. 11/28/1944 - d. 03/31/2016), Multi-Platinum and Gold Record recording artist, began music at the age of 10 and went on to attend The Manhattan School of Music in New York City on scholarship. It was here that Terry studied with Robert Brennand, principal bass of the New York Philharmonic...
 
54.
Basil Poledouris
Basil Poledouris was born on August 21, 1945 in Kansas City. He started taking piano lessons when he was 7 years old. Eventually, he went on to become a student at USC, where he studied the arts of directing, cinematography, editing, sound and, of course, music. It was also at USC he met John Milius and Randal Kleiser...
 
55.
John Powell
Composer, Rio
 
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57.
Laurence Rosenthal
Music Department, Fantasy Island
Composer Laurence Rosenthal was born in Detroit, Michigan. He studied piano and composition at the Eastman School of Music and later with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. His symphonic compositions have been premiered by Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philarmonic, among others. He has composed extensively for films and television...
 
58.
Nino Rota
Composer, The Godfather
Born in Milan in 1911 into a family of musicians, Nino Rota was first a student of Orefice and Pizzetti. Then, still a child, he moved to Rome where he completed his studies at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in 1929 with Alfredo Casella. In the meantime, he had become an 'enfant prodige', famous both as a composer and as an orchestra conductor...
 
60.
Craig Safan
Composer, Cheers
 
61.
Lalo Schifrin
Music Department, Mission: Impossible
Immensely talented, Argentinian born pianist, conductor and composer who has written over 100 scores for both television & the cinema including the memorable themes to Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Starsky and Hutch, Cool Hand Luke, and Bullitt. Schifrin has regularly worked alongside Clint Eastwood...
 
62.
John Scott
Music Department, The World About Us
For nearly forty years, John Scott has established himself as one of the finest composers working in films today, having collaborated with foremost producers and directors worldwide, including Richard Donner, Mark Damon, Hugh Hudson, Norman Jewison, Irvin Kershner, Daniel Petrie, Roger Spottiswoode and Charlton Heston...
 
63.
Marc Shaiman
Music Department, Hairspray
A great talent who started his career in Saturday Night Live, where he worked with colleagues like Rob Reiner or Billy Crystal. He worked for some great stage values as Eric Clapton, Rosemary Clooney, Harry Connick Jr., Billy Crystal, Lauryn Hill, Jennifer Holliday, Nathan Lane, Jenifer Lewis...
 
65.
David Shire
Music Department, Zodiac
 
67.
Carlo Siliotto
Carlo Siliotto was born in Rome. He started by studying guitar and violin, he accomplished his studies on composition at the conservatory of music. He was a founding member of the group "Canzoniere del Lazio" with which he adapted both pop and traditional Italian music. In 1984 he decided to focus his attention to writing film scores...
 
68.
Alan Silvestri
Composer, Forrest Gump
In over thirty years as a film composer, Alan Silvestri has blazed an innovative trail with his exciting and melodic scores, winning the applause of Hollywood and movie audiences the world over. Born in Manhattan in 1950, Alan was first drawn to music at an early age. Beginning as a drummer, his love for instruments quickly grew to include the bassoon...
 
69.
Carl W. Stalling
Music Department, Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Carl Stalling is the most famous unknown composer of the 20th century, almost solely based on his work composing musical scores for animated cartoons. Stalling's first work in music was as house organist in Newman Theatre in Kansas City, where he would accompany the latest silent film with his organ playing...
 
70.
Ronald Stein
Composer, The Terror
Composer, conductor, pianist and author Ronald Stein was educated at Washington University (BA), the Yale School of Music and the University of Southern California. In college he wrote musical shows. He was named the assistant musical director for the St. Louis Municipal Opera in 1950, 1951 and 1954...
 
71.
Morton Stevens
Music Department, Hawaii Five-O
Mort Stevens got his start in the 1950s as Sammy Davis Jr.'s arranger and conductor. He then went into composing various scores for network television, as well as becoming music supervisor for CBS in the 1960s. His many fine television scores include, "Hawaii Five-O" (Emmy winner), "Police Woman" and "Gunsmoke." He also scored some mini-series...
 
72.
Richard Stone
Music Department, Animaniacs
 
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75.
Shirley Walker
Music Department, True Lies
Shirley Walker was born in Napa, California in 1945. She was educated at Pleasant Hill High School; attended San Francisco State College on piano scholarship; studied composition with Dr. Roger Nixon; and piano with Harald Logan of Berkeley, California. She was soloist with San Francisco Symphony while in high school; performed with various hotel, jazz & art bands in San Francisco, 1964 - 1967...
 
76.
Franz Waxman
Music Department, Peyton Place
Franz Waxman (Wachsmann) pursued his dream of a career in music despite his family's misgivings. He worked for several years as a bank teller and paid for piano, harmony and composition lessons with his salary. He later moved to Berlin, where he continued his study and progress as a musician. He was able to support himself by playing and arranging for a popular German jazz band...
 
77.
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)...
 
78.
Debbie Wiseman
Composer, Wilde
 
79.
Alex Wurman
Emmy Award-winning composer Alex Wurman is highly versatile with a broad musical palette. He can traverse the film-score landscape by writing a critically-acclaimed score for an Oscar®-winning film, to supporting comedy with musical punctuation for box office giants, to capturing the essence of brainy ideas for indie films...
 
80.
Christopher Young
Composer, Spider-Man 3
Composer Christopher Young was born on April 28, 1957 in Red Bank, New Jersey. After graduating from Hampshire College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, Young went on to pursue his post-graduate studies at North Texas State University. Christopher moved to Los Angeles, California in 1980...
 
81.
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)...