The Maestros

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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...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
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...
 
4.
Miklós Rózsa
Music Department, Ben-Hur
'Miklos Rozsa' studied the violin from the age of five. In 1926, he began studying at the Leipzig Conservatory. In 1929, his violin concerto was performed there. While living in Paris from 1931, Rozsa had his 'Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song' and his 'Symphony and Serenade for Small Orchestra' performed...
 
5.
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...
 
6.
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...
 
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)...
 
8.
Zbigniew Preisner
Born in Poland in 1955, Zbigniew Preisner studied philosophy and history in the university of Cracow. In his twenties he started to study music in a autodidactical way: buying records and learning to write by taking the music in parts. He started to write his own compositions. His style has always been very romantic...
 
9.
Leonard Bernstein
Soundtrack, Moonrise Kingdom
Renowned composer ("West Side Story", "Candide", "On The Town"), conductor, arranger, pianist, educator, author, TV/radio host, educated at the Boston Latin School and Harvard University (BA) with Walter Piston. Edward Burlingame Hill and A. Tillman Merritt. He studied piano with Helen Coates, Heinrich Gebhard and Isabelle Vengerova...
 
10.
Alfred Newman
Music Department, The King and I
 
12.
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...
 
13.
Dimitri Tiomkin
Music Department, It's a Wonderful Life
Dimitri Tiomkin was a Russian Jewish composer who emigrated to America and became one of the most distinguished and best-loved music writers of Hollywood. He won a hallowed place in the pantheon of the most successful and productive composers in American film history, earning himself four Oscars and sixteen Academy Awards nominations...
 
14.
Brian Easdale
Composer, The Red Shoes
Easdale studied conducting at the Royal College of Music with Sir Malcom Sargent. There he met Benjamin Britten who introduced him to the film world. Brian Easdale became the first British composer to receive and Oscar for film music(for "The Red Shoes"). He kept the statuette on his mantle shelf. Whilst in India...
 
15.
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.
 
16.
Alex North
Music Department, Goodfellas
Alex North studied music at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, then won a scholarship to Juilliard in New York (1929) and the Moscow Conservatoire (1933), making him the first-ever American to become a member of the Union of Soviet Composers. In Europe, he worked as music director for the Latvian State Theatre...
“ The Misfits ” - quietgiant2
 
17.
Victor Young
Music Department, Casino
Violinist and conductor Victor Young was a prolific composer and arranger, who worked on more than 300 film scores over a period of twenty years. He came from an impoverished, but musical background and was trained on the violin at the Warsaw Imperial Conservatory, later studying piano in Paris under the French master Isidor Philipp...
 
18.
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...
“ Rebecca ” - quietgiant2
 
19.
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...
 
20.
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...
 
21.
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...
“ Robocop ” - quietgiant2
 
22.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Music Department, The Big Lebowski
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was the son of a well-known music critic. He was a child prodigy who composed his first orchestral piece at 14 and drew the attention of Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many other prominent composers and conductors. He had begun a promising career as a serious composer of...
 
23.
Lionel Newman
Music Department, Peyton Place
Lionel Newman was the youngest of a triumvirate of accomplished virtuosos, composers and conductors, who dominated the music department at 20th Century Fox for more than four decades. Already a highly regarded pianist by the age of 15, Lionel went on the national vaudeville circuit as accompanist for Mae West...
 
24.
Herbert Stothart
Music Department, The Wizard of Oz
Of Scottish and German ancestry, Herbert Stothart was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1885. At first, he was slated for a career as a teacher of history. However, he became enamored with music while singing in a school choir, and again, later, while attending the University of Wisconsin. There, he...
 
25.
Georges Auric
Composer, Roman Holiday
At the least George Auric was a fine musician, having been a child prodigy, but he was much more in the musical world. He studied under Vincent D'Indy (a devotee of Cesar Franck and the German school of symphonic composition) and attended the Paris Conservatory (1920). By the time he was 20 he had orchestrated and written incidental music for ballets and the stage...
 
26.
André Previn
Music Department, Fight Club
 
27.
George Antheil
Music Department, The Twentieth Century
Composer and pianist, educated at the Curtis Music Settlement School. He studied with Constantin von Sternberg, Ernest Bloch and Clark Smith under a Guggenheim Fellowship. In Europe, he gave piano recitals between 1921-1926. He wrote incidental music to the play "Oedipus". Besides his film music, his compositions include six symphonies...
 
28.
Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand is a three times Academy Award-winning French composer, conductor and pianist who composed over 200 film and television scores as well as recorded over a hundred albums of jazz, popular and classical music. He was born on February 24, 1932, in Becon-les-Bruyeres, in the Paris suburbs...
 
29.
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...
 
30.
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...
 
32.
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...
 
34.
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Jan A. P. Kaczmarek is a composer with a tremendous international reputation that continues to grow. As a successful recording artist and touring musician, Jan turned to composing film scores as his primary occupation. Jan's first success in the United States came in theater. After composing striking scores for productions at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum...
 
35.
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...
 
36.
Alfred Shnitke
Composer, Shutter Island
Born in Engels, an autonomous region for ethnic Germans on the Volga river, Alfred Schnittke trained as a pianist in Vienna, Austria, where his father served as a correspondent for a Soviet newspaper. In 1953, he moved on to the Moscow Conservatory and served on its faculty from 1962 to 1972. Schnittke wrote over 60 film scores between 1961 and 1984...
 
37.
Sergei Prokofiev
Prokofiev was a multitalented man and an innovative composer. He learned piano from his mother and chess from his father. He always had a chess set on his piano, and was able to play against the chess champions of his time. He studied music with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, graduated with highest marks from the St...
 
38.
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...
 
39.
Fumio Hayasaka
Composer, Seven Samurai
During his roughly 15-year-long career, Fumio Hayasaka composed scores for some of the biggest names in Japanese cinema and was regarded by many as the finest Japanese film composer alive. Many of his scores were written for no less a cinematic luminary than Akira Kurosawa, including the legendary director's breakthrough multiple-perspective masterpiece "Rashomon" (1950)...
 
40.
Gustav Holst
Soundtrack, Invictus
 
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Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis was born in the Greek island of Chios, in 1925. The exact same year that the other great composer of Greece was born in Xanthi, Manos Hatzidakis. He fought during the 2nd World War, and he was captured at the city of Tripoli. He was tortured, but when he was set free, he joined the partisan army of Greece named EAM...
 
45.
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)...
 
46.
Gabriel Yared
Gabriel Yared stopped his law studies at the age of 20 to work as a professional music composer. He studied with Henri Dutilleux and Maurice Ohana. He worked as a composer, orchestrator or producer for such singers as Françoise Hardy, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud and Mireille Mathieu. He made his film debut in 1980 with the score for Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself...
 
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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"...
 
52.
Randy Newman
Music Department, Toy Story 3
“ The Full Monty ” - quietgiant2
 
53.
Jocelyn Pook
Composer, Eyes Wide Shut
Born in Solihull in 1960, Jocelyn Pook graduated from the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1983 and began as a professional viola player. After a number of successful compositions for the concert hall and theatre, she began scoring films in 1996, starting with the short documentary Blight (1996) about local objections to a new motorway...
 
55.
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...
 
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57.
William Walton
Music Department, Battle of Britain
William Walton came from a musical family. He entered Christ Church, Oxford at the early age of sixteen but left without a degree in 1920. A fine musician, he was essentially self-taught as a composer, except some instruction from Hugh Allen, the cathedral organist. Through literary friends and other associations he became acquainted with the London music and cultural scene...
 
59.
György Ligeti
Music Department, 2001: A Space Odyssey
1941-43 he began his study of composition under Ferenc Farkas; 1945-49 he continued at the Budapest Music Academy under the same teacher and Sándor Veress. 1950-56 he was lecturer in Harmony and Counterpoint at the Academy at Budapest. Left Hungary toward the end of 1956. 1957-59 freelance work at the Studio for electronic music of the West German Radio (WDR) in Cologne...
 
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63.
John Morris
Music Department, Young Frankenstein
 
64.
Adolph Deutsch
Academy Award-winning composer, songwriter, conductor and arranger, educated at London Poly. and the Royal Academy of Music. He came to the USA in 1910 and became a US citizen in 1920, eventually leading his own orchestra; later he composed and arranged for and conducted other dance bands. He was the music director and arranger for three Broadway musicals...
 
65.
Michael Kamen
Music Department, Lethal Weapon
 
66.
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...
 
67.
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.
 
68.
Mark Isham
Music Department, Crash
From his days as one of the pioneering icons of electronic music to his current status as a world-renowned legendary film composer, Mark Isham continues to be one of the most prolific and provocative artists on the scene. His gift for creating unforgettable melodies and his love of fresh, innovative sonic palettes have earned Isham many awards including a Grammy...
 
69.
George Bassman
Music Department, The Wizard of Oz
Composer and songwriter ("I'm Getting Sentimental Over You", the Tommy Dorsey theme), conductor and arranger, he was educated at the Boston Conservatory and studied with Toch and Strelitzer. Between 1931-1934 he arranged for dance orchestras, and then for Andre Kostelanetz and CBS between 1934-1936...
 
70.
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino
Composer, Othello
He graduated in violin and composition at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan (Italy), Lavagnino deserves a special place in film music for his contribution to documentaries. He gave reportages a new dimension; he did not elaborate folkloristic themes, neither he passively adapts the instruments...
 
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72.
Mark Snow
Composer, The X-Files
Mark Snow became a good friend with Michael Kamen while they were studying music at New York's Art and Music High School. After graduation, they became roommates at Julliard (an elite music school). After studying at Julliard, he became very fond of pop music. He, Michael Kamen and 3 others formed the New York Rock'n'Roll ensemble...
 
73.
Lennie Hayton
Composer, MGM music director (1940-1953), conductor, arranger and pianist in the jazz groups of 'Frankie Trumbauer', Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti and others. He was also with the Paul Whiteman orchestra. He also was music director for Lena Horne, his wife. Joining ASCAP in 1953...
 
74.
Hugo Friedhofer
Music Department, Casablanca
Hugo Friedhofer -- how many times have you seen that name in the credits of 1930s and '40s movies for "orchestration" or "musical arranger" and thought -- Gee, what a busy guy! He was, and, ironically, much of that work went uncredited. He is not usually mentioned with the great film composers of early Hollywood...
 
75.
Dmitri Shostakovich
Soundtrack, Children of Men
Dmitri Shostakovich, one of Russian culture's most acclaimed intellectuals who was censored under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, was an internationally recognized composer whose music was in over 100 films. He was born Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich on September 25, 1906, in St. Petersburg, Russia...
 
76.
John Powell
Composer, Rio
 
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81.
Brian Eno
Soundtrack, Shutter Island
Regarded as one of the best producers and musicians in rock history, Eno started his career in 1971 with Roxy Music. The band released two albums, "Roxy Music" and "For Your Pleasure", with the two Brians in the lineup (the other one was, of course, lead singer Bryan Ferry); a conflict between the two Brians forced Eno to leave Roxy Music in 1973...
 
82.
Cole Porter
Cole Porter was born June 9, 1891, at Peru, Indiana, the son of pharmacist Samuel Fenwick Porter and Kate Cole. Cole was raised on a 750-acre fruit ranch. Kate Cole married Samuel Porter in 1884 and had two children, Louis and Rachel, who both died in infancy. Porter's grandfather, J.G. Cole, was a multi-millionaire who made his fortune in the coal and western timber business...
 
83.
Charles Chaplin
Writer, Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
 
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Lydia Kavina
Music Department, The Machinist
Lydia Kavina is a composer, professional thereminist, and master teacher of the theremin. At age 9, Lydia began her study of the instrument with Professor Theremin, a first cousin of her grandfather. Her stage career as theremin player began at age 14. She studied musical theory and composition in Moscow at the Tschaikovsky State Conservatory...
 
90.
Jeff Beal
Composer, Blackfish
Jeff Beal is one of the most prolific and respected composers working in Hollywood today. He grew up studying the trumpet in the San Francisco Bay area, where he was immersed in the sounds of the 70's jazz, classical, rock & pop music scene. His prodigious talent in composition lead to many works for both big band and orchestra during his high school years...
 
92.
Marvin Hamlisch
Music Department, The Spy Who Loved Me
Musical talent ran in Marvin Hamlisch's family - his father was an accordionist, and at seven Hamlisch was the youngest student ever accepted by Manhattan's Julliard School of Music. Hamlich furthered his education by taking night classes at Queens College and working during the day as a rehearsal pianist for Broadway shows...
 
95.
Thomas Newman
Music Department, WALL·E
 
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97.
Abel Korzeniowski
Composer, A Single Man
Born on the 18th of July, 1972, in Cracow, Poland. In 1996 graduated the instrumental studies (specialization: cello), and then in 2000 graduated with merit from the composition class of Krzysztof Penderecki at the Music Academy in Cracow. At the same Academy, in the years 1999-2000, he was an assistant at the Department of Composition...
 
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