My Favorite Film Music Composers (In No Particular Order)

by jztzt | created - 23 Aug 2012 | updated - 7 months ago | Public

1. Henry Mancini

Soundtrack | Breakfast at Tiffany's

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 ...

2. Jerry Fielding

Composer | The Wild Bunch

A three-time Oscar nominee, Jerry Fielding was among the boldest and most experimental of all Hollywood film composers. His music typically utilized advanced compositional procedures, producing dense, often richly dissonant orchestral textures, sometimes flavored with jazz. Fielding's film music ...

3. Graeme Revell

Composer | The Saint

Graeme Revell was born in New Zealand in 1955. He was graduated from The University of Auckland with degrees in economics and politics. He is a classically trained pianist and French horn player. Revell worked for as a regional planner in Australia and Indonesia and as an orderly in an Australian ...

4. David Shire

Music_department | Zodiac

David Shire was born on July 3, 1937 in Buffalo, New York, USA as David Lee Shire. He is known for his work on Zodiac (2007), Short Circuit (1986) and Saturday Night Fever (1977). He has been married to Didi Conn since February 11, 1984. They have one child. He was previously married to Talia Shire.

5. Alan Silvestri

Composer | The Polar Express

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 ...

6. Michael Kamen

Soundtrack | Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Michael Kamen was born on April 15, 1948 in New York City, New York, USA as Michael Arnold Kamen. He was married to Sandra Keenan. He died on November 18, 2003 in London, England.

7. Jerry Goldsmith

Music_department | Star Trek: First Contact

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 ...

8. Ernest Gold

Music_department | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Award-winning composer/songwriter ("Exodus" [Grammy/Academy Awards, 1960] ). He joined ASCAP in 1957, and his other popular-song compositions include the title songs for "On the Beach" and "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World".

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 ...

10. Michael Small

Composer | Jaws: The Revenge

American film composer, the son of Jack Small, a former actor and general manager for the Shubert theater organization. He studied at Williams College and initially planned to become a Broadway composer. Small was best known for scoring A-grade thrillers, including "Klute", "Child's Play", "The ...

11. Elliot Goldenthal

Composer | Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Elliot Goldenthal is an Academy Award-winning composer best known for his original music scores for such films as Frida (2002) and Across the Universe (2007), 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. ...

12. Dimitri Tiomkin

Music_department | High Noon

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 ...

13. Christopher Young

Composer | Entrapment

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, ...

14. Alex North

Music_department | Spartacus

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 ...

15. John Ottman

Composer | Valkyrie

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...

16. Bruce Smeaton

Composer | Roxanne

Bruce Smeaton was born on March 5, 1938 in Brighton, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is known for his work on Roxanne (1987), The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

17. Marco Beltrami

Composer | I, Robot

Marco Beltrami was born on October 7, 1966 in New York City, New York, USA. He is known for his work on I, Robot (2004), World War Z (2013) and The Wolverine (2013).

18. Dave Grusin

Composer | The Firm

Dave Grusin was born on June 26, 1934 in Littleton, Colorado, USA as David Grusin. He is known for his work on The Firm (1993), The Graduate (1967) and Tootsie (1982).

19. Mychael Danna

Composer | Life of Pi

Mychael Danna is an Academy Award-winning film composer recognized for his evocative blending of non-western traditions with orchestral and electronic music. His highly awarded works include the Oscar-winning score for Ang Lee's Life of Pi (2012), and his many Genie Award-winning scores for ...

20. Hugo Friedhofer

Composer | The Best Years of Our Lives

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 ...

21. Mark Isham

Composer | Blade

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, ...

22. Jerome Moross

Composer | The Big Country

Brooklyn-born composer and orchestrator, who graduated from New York University at the age of eighteen. A child prodigy, he was already an accomplished pianist at the age of five and began composing music three years later. His first serious work ('Paeans') was performed in public when he was ...

23. Maurice Jarre

Composer | Lawrence of Arabia

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, ...

24. Lennie Niehaus

Composer | Space Cowboys

Lennie Niehaus was born on June 11, 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Leonard Niehaus. He is known for his work on Space Cowboys (2000), The Bridges of Madison County (1995) and Heartbreak Ridge (1986).

25. Elmer Bernstein

Composer | Far from Heaven

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 ...

26. Georges Delerue

Composer | Platoon

Georges Delerue was born on March 12, 1925 in Roubaix, Nord, France as Georges Henri Jean-Baptiste Delerue. He was a composer, known for Platoon (1986), The Day of the Dolphin (1973) and Twins (1988). He was married to Micheline Gautron. He died on March 20, 1992 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

27. Howard Shore

Music_department | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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 ...

28. James Newton Howard

Composer | The Dark Knight

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 (1985) in 1985. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. He currently is a songwriter, ...