Top ten Film composers

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1.
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 score: Where to begin? The westerns are all good. The good the bad and the ugly, for a few dollars more, and once upon a time in the west are highlights. The giallo films...Four flies on Grey velvet, What have they done to solange? The sicillian clan. Even his score to exorcist II, Salo. The mission, Cinema Paradiso. It's hard to choose a favorite. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
2.
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...
“ Favorite score: The day the earth stood still or Psycho. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
3.
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...
“ Favorite score: To Kill a Mockingbird. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
4.
“ Favorite score: Don't torture a duckling. There are few scores as beautiful and haunting. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
5.
“ Favorite score: Either Nausicaa of the valley of the wind or spirited away. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
6.
Akira Ifukube
Composer, Gojira
Akira Ifukube was born on May 31, 1914 in Hokkaido, Japan. He was the third son of a chief constable (his grandfather was a priest of Shin-to) and spent a majority of his childhood in areas with a mixed Japanese and Ainu population. Therefore, Ifukube was strongly influenced by their musical traditions and styles...
“ Favorite score: either Godzilla or War of the gargantuas ” - Stompgodzilla
 
7.
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 score: Superman the movie or E.T the extraterrestrial. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
8.
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 score: Gremlins ” - Stompgodzilla
 
9.
Roy Webb
Composer, Notorious
Trained in classical music at Columbia University, Webb worked on Broadway by the time he was in his mid-20's, not only composing incidental music, but co-writing original plays with his older brother, the director Kenneth S. Webb. By 1923, he worked as conductor/arranger on hit shows like "Music Box Revue" and "Stepping Stones"...
“ Favorite score: I walked with a zombie. ” - Stompgodzilla
 
10.
Max Steiner
Composer, Casablanca
Austrian composer who achieved legendary status as the creator of hundreds of classic American film scores. As a child he was astonishingly musically gifted, composing complex works as a teenager and completing the course of study at Vienna's Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst in only one year...
“ Favorite score: King Kong. ” - Stompgodzilla