FAVORITE Film Composers:

By Michelle.
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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.
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...
 
4.
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...
 
5.
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)...
 
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7.
Trevor Rabin
Composer, The Guardian
Trevor Rabin was born in South Africa in 1954. He began playing guitar at the age of 12 after having had piano lessons since he was a toddler. In 1972 he formed the band Rabbit becoming the most successful rock act ever to emerge from South Africa. Rabin left Rabbit to pursue a solo career in London and released three solo albums...
 
8.
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...
 
9.
Nick Glennie-Smith
Music Department, The Lion King
 
10.
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...
 
11.
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...
 
12.
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...
 
13.
Michael Nyman
Composer, The Piano
Michael Nyman studied piano, harpsichord and music history with Alan Bush at the Royal Academy of Music, and musicology with Thurston Dart at King's College, London. Between 1968 and 1978 he worked as a music critic and in 1977 he founded the Campiello Band, later renamed the Michael Nyman Band. Many of his filmscores were composed for the films of Peter Greenaway...
 
14.
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, and his many Genie Award-winning scores for director and longtime collaborator, Atom Egoyan...
 
15.
Penka Kouneva
Music Department, Transformers
Film & game composer of "exquisite talent" (Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands game co-composed with Steve Jablonsky), Penka has worked for 15 years in Los Angeles on titles grossing $15 billion world-wide. Her own music is a blend of her Eastern-European upbringing, classical training, modern film & game music...
 
16.
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.
 
17.
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...
 
19.
Mark Mancina
Music Department, Criminal Minds
Known for his wide-ranging talents, Mark Mancina's film scores traverse almost every genre: drama, action, comedy, suspense, and period epic. His dark, edgy music for the Oscar-winning Training Day, is a benchmark score that expanded the boundaries of scoring street-wise drama, and is widely used as a temp track...
 
20.
Graeme Revell
Composer, Sin City
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 psychiatric hospital...
 
21.
Lisa Gerrard
Music Department, Man on Fire
 
22.
Rolfe Kent
Music Department, Dexter
 
23.
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...
 
24.
Thomas Newman
Music Department, WALL·E
 
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Carter Burwell
Music Department, Fargo
 
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29.
George Fenton
Music Department, Gandhi
 
30.
George S. Clinton
George S. Clinton began his professional musical career as a songwriter, arranger, and session musician in Nashville, while earning degrees in music and drama at Middle Tennessee State University. The summer after graduation, George attended the Atlanta Pop Festival and, upon hearing Joe Cocker perform "With a Little Help from My Friends"...
 
31.
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...
 
32.
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...
 
33.
Bill Conti
Music Department, Falcon Crest
 
34.
Randy Edelman
Music Department, 27 Dresses
 
35.
John Debney
Music Department, Sin City
Academy® Award nominated and Emmy® Award winner John Debney is considered one of the most prolific and successful composers in Hollywood. His unique ability to create memorable work across a variety of genres, as well as his reputation for being remarkably collaborative, have made him the first choice of top level producers and directors...
 
36.
Klaus Badelt
Music Department, Gladiator
Composer Klaus Badelt started his musical career writing and producing music for dozens of highly successful movies and commercials in his native Germany. In 1998, Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer invited him to move his musical home to Media Ventures in Santa Monica, CA. Since then, Klaus has...
 
37.
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"...
 
38.
Anne Dudley
Music Department, Les Misérables
English composer and pop musician. Was a prominent member of the synthpop band The Art of Noise. Now, a critically acclaimed composer. Won an Oscar for Best Original Music or Comedy Score for work in The Full Monty. Since has composed music for more than forty films, including: The Crying Game, American History X...
 
39.
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...
 
40.
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...
 
41.
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...
 
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44.
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...
 
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46.
Alan Menken
Music Department, Beauty and the Beast
Alan Menken born on July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York, USA as Alan Irwin Menken. Composer, Actor and Artist, he is famous to working with the legendary Disney Studios since 1987. begun his career as a Composer in 1971 be composing for New York City Ballet and Jingles. He also works many works in the Cinema including as a Actor...
 
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48.
Don Davis
Composer, The Matrix
 
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50.
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...
 
52.
Michael Simpson
Music Department, Zoolander
 
53.
John King
Composer, Fight Club
 
54.
Ann Ronell
Soundtrack, Carol
ANN RONELL was one of the few early song writers who wrote both the words and the music, beginning in 1930 with BABY'S BIRTHDAY PARTY. That led to many "kiddie" -style tunes, such as MICKEY MOUSE AND MINNIE'S IN TOWN and IN A SILLY SYMPHONY. A graduate of prestigious Radcliffe College, she taught music...
 
55.
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...
 
56.
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.
 
57.
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...
 
58.
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...
 
59.
Lorne Balfe
Music Department, Inception
 
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62.
Geoff Zanelli
Composer, Disturbia
Geoff Zanelli is an Emmy Award-winning composer, garnering accolades and recognition for his work since going solo after numerous collaborations with Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer. A Southern California native, Zanelli began his musical career as a guitar player and songwriter for numerous local acts...
 
63.
Stephen Barton
Music Department, Man on Fire
 
64.
Gavin Greenaway
Music Department, The Hunger Games
 
65.
Jim Dooley
Jim Dooley is a graduate of New York University where he majored in Music Composition. Upon completion of his degree, he moved to Los Angeles to study the art of film composing with such prolific scoring legends as Christopher Young, Elmer Bernstein and Leonard Rosenman. He joined Media Ventures (now...
 
66.
Sylvester Levay
Music Department, Flashdance
 
67.
Henry Jackman
Henry Jackman, born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, UK, began composing his first symphony at age six, and was an accomplished composer by age nine. He went on to study classical music at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School, Eton College, Framlingham College and Oxford University. As a teenager, he became heavily influenced by the underground rave scene...
 
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69.
Eric Serra
Music Department, The Fifth Element
Eric Serra was born on September 9th, 1959 near Paris in France. His mother died when he was only 7 years old. His father, Claude Serra was a well-know songwriter in France in late 50s and 60s. Serra began to learn play the guitar at 11 years old and became a professional musician for Mory Kante;, Didier Lockwood and Michel Murty at 15 years old...
 
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71.
Ryan Amon
Composer, Elysium