The Best Film & Videogame Score 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)...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
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)...
 
4.
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...
 
5.
Howard Shore
Howard Shore is a Canadian composer, born in Toronto. He was born in a Jewish family. He started studying music when 8-years-old, and played as a member of bands by the time he was 13-years-old. He was interested in a professional career in music as a teenager. He studied music at the Berklee College of Music, a college of contemporary music located in Boston...
 
6.
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...
 
7.
Don Davis
Composer, The Matrix
 
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.
 
9.
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...
 
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Randy Newman
Music Department, Toy Story 3
 
13.
John Debney
Composer, The Jungle Book
John Debney's career seemed destined for Hollywood, the son of Disney Studios producer Louis Debney, John grew up in nearby Glendale, California where he got early inspiration for film and music growing up on the Disney Studio lot. The child of two musicians, John showed an early aptitude for music and began guitar lessons at age six...
 
15.
Carter Burwell
Music Department, Fargo
 
16.
Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor is an American songwriter/musician/producer and sole member of multi-platinum act Nine Inch Nails, and now an Academy Award winning film composer. He began creating music as a child in Western Pennsylvania, first on piano and then taking up other instruments. He eventually moved to Cleveland...
 
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18.
A.R. Rahman
A two-time winner and five-times nominee of the Academy Award (Oscar), A. R. Rahman is popularly known as the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music. Rahman, according to a BBC estimate, has sold more than 150 million copies of his work comprising of music from more than 100 film soundtracks and albums across over half a dozen languages...
 
19.
Klaus Badelt
Music Department, Gladiator
Klaus Badelt has written music for over 25 major Hollywood films. He composed the acclaimed score for 2003's top-grossing movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. His composer credits include: Werner Herzog's Invincible, K-19: The Widowmaker, The Recruit, Ned Kelly, Basic, The In-Laws, Catwoman, and the upcoming, animated feature Curious George (currently in production)...
 
20.
David Arnold
Music Department, Stargate SG-1
 
21.
Yann Tiersen
Composer, Amélie
 
22.
Paul Haslinger
Paul Haslinger is an Austrian musician and composer. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Paul began his career as a member of Electronic Music pioneers Tangerine Dream. He toured with the band extensively from 1985-90 and contributed to projects such as the album "Underwater Sunlight" (1986), as well as the films "Near Dark" (1987) and "Miracle Mile" (1988)...
 
23.
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...
 
25.
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...
 
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27.
Michael Giacchino
Composer, Ratatouille
Michael Giacchino is an American composer of music for films, television and video games. Giacchino composed the scores to the television series Lost, Alias and Fringe, the video game series Medal of Honor and Call of Duty and many films such as The Incredibles (2004), Star Trek (2009), Up (2009), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)...
 
28.
Mike Patton
Michael Allan Patton was born on January 27th 1968 in California. He formed the band Mr Bungle at the age of 15, and after Jim Martin (of Faith No More) heard Mr Bungle, Mike was asked to join Faith No More as a permanent full time vocalist. After a turbulent career which lasted until April 1998, Faith...
 
30.
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...
 
31.
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...
 
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Trevor Jones
Composer, Notting Hill
As a child in Cape Town, Trevor Jones lived opposite the Gem Cinema. The theater was so old and worn out that there was often a loss of the soundtrack, which caused him to realize its power. The fact that everyone in his family worked in film or the theater made it easy to get support in his career choice...
 
34.
Joel Goldsmith
Composer, Stargate SG-1
One of six children of the legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith, and the oldest son, Joel Goldsmith's own career in film scoring began in 1978, when he collaborated with Richard Band on the score for Laserblast. Joel Goldsmith next worked as sound mixer for another Band project, The Day Time Ended before receiving his first solo scoring assignment...
 
35.
Harald Kloser
Composer, 2012
 
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Thomas Wanker
Composer, 2012
 
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38.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Music Department, The Phantom of the Opera
Andrew Lloyd Webber is arguably the most successful composer of our time. He is best known for stage and film adaptations of his musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats (1994), Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera. He was born on March 22, 1948, in South Kensington in London, England, the first of two sons of William Lloyd Webber...
 
39.
Harry Gregson-Williams
Composer, Shrek
Harry Gregson-Williams is a composer. He was the composer on all four installments of the blockbuster Shrek franchise; garnered a BAFTA nomination for the score for the first Shrek; and received Golden Globe and Grammy Award nominations for his score to Andrew Adamson's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion...
 
41.
Tim Wynn
Music Department, Supernatural
 
42.
Matt Uelmen
Composer, Diablo II
Matt was born and raised in the South Bay area of greater Los Angeles. Almost all of his formal training in music came through piano lessons from Lenée Bilski from the ages of 6 to 13, which were discontinued when his family moved to San Jose, California during his high school years. Matt is largely self-taught as a multi-instrumentalist and orchestrator...
 
43.
Joseph Conlan
Composer, NCIS
Joseph Conlan is a 2 time EMMY nominated film & television composer based in Los Angeles. He is best known for his scores to the television series NCIS, Tour of Duty and Simon & Simon, and to feature films Spiders 3D and Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia. Joe is also known for integrating electronic music textures with conventional orchestration. He has received several awards and nominations...
 
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Lisa Gerrard
Music Department, Man on Fire
 
50.
Lorne Balfe
Music Department, Inception
 
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53.
Jack Wall
Music Department, Reign
Jack Wall's distinguished musical career includes composing for film, television, video games and concerts as well as his early years producing and engineering albums for recording artists. Renowned for his rich, cinematic scores for popular franchises such as Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Myst, Splinter Cell and Jade Empire...
 
54.
Sam Hulick
Composer, Mass Effect 3
Sam Hulick is a Los Angeles based, BAFTA nominated and NBC News award winning composer for film, television and interactive media, best known for creating the signature music for BioWare's blockbuster sci-fi franchise Mass Effect as well as original music for the fantasy role playing games Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition...
 
59.
Peter McConnell
Peter McConnell has composed award-winning scores in the Interactive Entertainment Industry for nearly two decades. His credits include Broken Age, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, the Sly Cooper Series, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, The Sims, Indiana Jones, Grim Fandango and Monkey Island...
 
65.
Daft Punk
Soundtrack, Iron Man 2
 
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Brendan Perry
Soundtrack, The Mist