My Hitlist of COMPOSERSby sype | created - 21 May 2011 | updated - 19 Feb 2015 | Public
A hitlist of my favourite soundtrack composers of all time.
Music_department | Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
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 ...
The one and only true master of film music.
Composer | The Hateful Eight
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 ...
Composer | King Kong
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, ...
The next John Williams.
4. 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 ...
His masterpiece: The Lord of the Rings - The greatest and most epic soundtrack ever.
5. Hans Zimmer
Composer | Gladiator
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 ...
6. James Horner
Soundtrack | Las puertitas del señor López
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 ...
Composer | L.A. Confidential
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. John Barry
Music_department | Out of Africa
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 ...
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) ...
Composer | Star Trek
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), ...
11. 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 ...
12. Danny Elfman
Music_department | The Nightmare Before Christmas
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 ...
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. Trevor Rabin
Composer | Deep Blue Sea
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 ...
17. Max Steiner
Composer | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
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...
19. 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...
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. ...
21. Randy Edelman
Music_department | The Last of the Mohicans
Randy Edelman was born on June 10, 1947 in Paterson, New Jersey, USA. He is known for his work on The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Six Days Seven Nights (1998) and Anaconda (1997). He has been married to Jackie DeShannon since June 3, 1976. They have one child.
23. Dario Marianelli
Composer | Atonement
Dario Marianelli was born in Pisa and studied piano and composition in Florence and London. After a year as a postgraduate composer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he spent 3 years at the National Film and Television School, from which he graduated in 1997. Dario's film scores include '...
24. Bernard Herrmann
Soundtrack | Taxi Driver
The man behind the low woodwinds that open Citizen Kane (1941), the shrieking violins of Psycho (1960), and the plaintive saxophone of Taxi Driver (1976) 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 ...
25. Rachel Portman
Composer | Never Let Me Go
Rachel Portman was born on December 11, 1960 in Haslemere, Surrey, England as Rachel Mary Berkeley Portman. She is known for her work on Never Let Me Go (2010), Chocolat (2000) and Emma (1996). She has been married to Uberto Pasolini since 1995. They have three children.
26. Carter Burwell
Music_department | Carol
Carter Burwell was born on November 18, 1954 in New York City, New York, USA as Carter Benedict Burwell. He is known for his work on Carol (2015), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) and True Grit (2010). He has been married to Christine Sciulli since 1999.
27. 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 ...
30. Charles Chaplin
Writer | The Great Dictator
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin 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 character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...
31. 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, ...
32. Basil Poledouris
Composer | The Hunt for Red October
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...
35. 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 ...
37. Gabriel Yared
Composer | The Talented Mr. Ripley
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 ...
38. 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, ...
Composer | Alexander
Vangelis is a composer and performer who works almost exclusively with electronic instruments. He is probably most well known for his Chariots of Fire (1981) and Blade Runner (1982) soundtracks or for the tracks used in the Cosmos (1980) television series. He has been involved in many musical ...
41. Patrick Doyle
Composer | Rise of the Planet of the Apes
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...
42. 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. ...