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)...
“ John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor and pianist. He is considered to be one of the greatest, most influential, and most successful film composers of all time. In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars saga, Superman, Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the first two Home Alone films, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, Lincoln, and the first three Harry Potter films. He has had a long association with director Steven Spielberg, composing the music for all but two (Duel and The Color Purple) of Spielberg's major feature films.
Other notable works by Williams include theme music for four Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, the NBC Nightly News, the Statue of Liberty's rededication, the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants, and the original, not as well known calypso-based theme song to Gilligan's Island. Williams has also composed numerous classical concerti, and he served as the Boston Pops Orchestra's principal conductor from 1980 to 1993; he is now the orchestra's conductor laureate.
Williams has won 5 Academy Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards, 7 British Academy Film Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 48 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated person, after Walt Disney. Williams was honored with the annual Richard Kirk award at the 1999 BMI Film and TV Awards, recognizing his contribution to film and television music.Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. ” - Pat Steve
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)...
“ Hans Florian Zimmer (German pronunciation: [hans ˈfloːʁi̯aːn ˈtsɪmɐ]; born 12 September 1957) is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including award winning film scores for The Lion King (1994), Crimson Tide (1995), The Thin Red Line (1998), Gladiator (2000), The Last Samurai (2003), The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions.
Zimmer's works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. He has received four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Classical BRIT Award, and an Academy Award. He was also named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses, published by The Daily Telegraph. ” - Pat Steve
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...
“ James Roy Horner (born August 14, 1953) is an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements. His score to the 1997 film Titanic remains the best selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time.
In addition, Horner has scored over 100 films, frequently collaborating with acclaimed directors such as James Cameron and Ron Howard. Other scores he worked on include those of Commando, Braveheart, Willow, Apollo 13, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Cocoon, Legends of the Fall, Aliens, Glory, The Mask of Zorro, Field of Dreams, Enemy at the Gates, Casper, Troy, Bicentennial Man, The Rocketeer, A Beautiful Mind, Mighty Joe Young, The Perfect Storm, Avatar, and more recently, The Amazing Spider-Man.
Horner has won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Satellite Awards, three Saturn Awards, and has been nominated for three British Academy Film Awards. His body of work is also notable for including the scores to the two highest-grossing films of all time: Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009), both of which were directed by James Cameron. Horner was greatly influenced by Dimitri Shostakovich. ” - Pat Steve
“ Thomas Montgomery Newman (born October 20, 1955) is an American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores.
Newman has received a total of eleven Academy Award nominations, although as of 2013, he has yet to win the award. He has however won two BAFTAs, five Grammys and an Emmy, and has been nominated for three Golden Globes. Newman was honored with the Richard Kirk award at the 2000 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music. ” - Pat Steve
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...
“ Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo, from 1976 to 1995 and later for scoring music for television and film and creating The Simpsons main title theme as well as the 1989 Batman movie theme. He has scored the majority of the films for his long-time friend Tim Burton.
Born in Los Angeles, he entered the film industry in 1976, initially as an actor. He made his film scoring debut in 1980 for the film Forbidden Zone directed by his older brother Richard Elfman. He has since been nominated for four Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Tim Burton's Batman and an Emmy Award for his Desperate Housewives theme. Elfman was honored with the prestigious Richard Kirk award at the 2002 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.
He is the son of novelist Blossom Elfman and the brother of director Richard Elfman. ” - Pat Steve
“ Michael Giacchino (Italian pronunciation: [dʒakˈkiːno]; born October 10, 1967 is an American composer who has composed scores for movies, television series and video games. Some of his most notable works include the scores to television series such as Lost, Alias and Fringe, games such as the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series, and films such as Mission: Impossible III, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cloverfield, Ratatouille, Up, Super 8, Cars 2, 50/50, and John Carter. Giacchino has received numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy, multiple Grammys, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. ” - Pat Steve
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.
“ James Newton Howard (born June 9, 1951) is an American composer best known for his scores to motion pictures. He is one of the most popular and respected composers for cinema, and has scored over 100 films. The recipient of eight Academy Award nominations, some of Howard's best known film scores include The Prince of Tides (1991), The Fugitive (1993), Dinosaur (2000), The Village (2004), King Kong (2005), Batman Begins (2005) (with Hans Zimmer), I Am Legend (2007) The Dark Knight (2008) (also with Zimmer), and, most recently Green Lantern (2011), The Hunger Games (2012), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), and The Bourne Legacy (2012). He is known for his frequent collaborations with director M. Night Shyamalan, having scored all his films since The Sixth Sense (1999). Howard also has a reputation of being a fast composer, due to his work on movies such as King Kong and The Hunger Games, both of which were composed in approximately one month. ” - Pat Steve
“ Howard Leslie Shore (born October 18, 1946) is a Canadian composer, notable for his film scores. He has composed the scores for over 80 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he won three Academy Awards. He is also a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979.
He has also composed a few concert works including one opera, The Fly, based on the plot (though not his score) of Cronenberg's 1986 film premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on 2 July 2008, a short piece Fanfare for the Wanamaker Organ and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and a short overture for the Swiss 21st Century Symphony Orchestra. Howard Shore also scored for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film of the five saga trilogy.
Shore is a three-time Academy Award winner, and has also won three Golden Globe Awards and four Grammy Awards. He is the uncle of film composer Ryan Shore. Shore serves on the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Berklee College of Music. ” - Pat Steve
“ Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat (French pronunciation: [a.lɛk.sɑ̃dʁ dɛ.pla]; born 23 August 1961) is a French film composer. He has received five Academy Award nominations, six BAFTA nominations, six Golden Globe nominations, and two Grammy nominations. Desplat won his first Golden Globe for The Painted Veil in 2006 and his first British Academy Film Award in 2011. Among various projects, Desplat has worked on a variety of Hollywood films, including independent and commercial successes like The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2, and The King's Speech. ” - Pat Steve
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...
“ Alan Anthony Silvestri (born March 26, 1950) is an American composer and conductor who works primarily in film and television. He is best known for his frequent collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis, including composing major hit films such as the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump and Cast Away. ” - Pat Steve