Top Movie Score Composers

by giannopoulouanastasia | created - 21 Sep 2016 | updated - 02 Jan 2017 | Public

1. Alexandre Desplat

Composer | The King's Speech

Alexandre Desplat was born on August 23, 1961 in Paris, Île-de-France, France as Alexandre Michel Gerard Desplat. He is known for his work on The King's Speech (2010), Argo (2012) and The Queen (2006).

2. Ennio Morricone

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 ...

3. 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 ...

4. Peter Gregson

Music_department | A Little Chaos

Peter Gregson is a cellist and composer "working at the forefront of the new music scene" (The New Yorker). He has premiered works by composers including Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Joby Talbot, Gabriel Prokofiev, and Steve Reich; he also collaborates with many leading film composers, including...

5. Craig Armstrong

Soundtrack | Moulin Rouge!

Craig Armstrong, born in Glasgow, 1959. Studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London from 1977 to 1981.

From his base in Glasgow he has written for film, classical commissions and solo recordings. He has composed for Baz Lurhmann's Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, The Quiet...

6. Abel Korzeniowski

Composer | A Single Man

Born on the 18th of July, 1972, in Cracow, Poland. In 1996 graduated the instrumental studies (specialization: cello), and then in 2000 graduated with merit from the composition class of Krzysztof Penderecki at the Music Academy in Cracow. At the same Academy, in the years 1999-2000, he was an ...

7. Justin Hurwitz

Soundtrack | La La Land

Justin Hurwitz was born on January 22, 1985 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Justin Gabriel Hurwitz. He is a writer and producer, known for La La Land (2016), First Man (2018) and Whiplash (2014).

8. 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 '...

9. Yann Tiersen

Composer | Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

Yann Tiersen was born on June 23, 1970 in Brest, Finistère, France. He is a composer, known for Amélie (2001), Good Bye Lenin! (2003) and Inescapable (2012).

10. John Williams

Soundtrack | Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

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 ...

11. 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 ...

12. 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 ...

13. 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 ...

14. 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 ...

15. John Carney

Director | Sing Street

John Carney was born in 1972 in Dublin, Ireland. He is a director and writer, known for Sing Street (2016), Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013).

16. 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 ...

17. Andrew Lloyd Webber

Soundtrack | 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 (1973), Cats (1994), Evita (1996), and The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

He was born on March 22, 1948, in South Kensington in London, ...

18. 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. ...

19. Ludovico Einaudi

Composer | This Is England

Ludovico Einaudi was born on November 23, 1955 in Turin, Italy as Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi. He is a composer, known for This Is England (2006), The Intouchables (2011) and Sotto falso nome (2004).

20. Clint Mansell

Composer | Black Swan

Clint Mansell was born on January 7, 1963 in Coventry, West Midlands, England. He is a composer, known for Black Swan (2010), The Fountain (2006) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).

21. 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...

22. Thomas Newman

Music_department | Skyfall

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) ...

23. Vangelis

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 ...

24. Jerry Goldsmith

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 ...

25. James Newton Howard

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, ...

26. 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.

27. 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. ...

28. Michael Giacchino

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), ...

29. 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.

30. Jóhann Jóhannsson

Composer | Sicario

Jóhann Jóhannsson was born on September 19, 1969 in Reykjavík, Iceland. He was a composer, known for Sicario (2015), The Theory of Everything (2014) and Prisoners (2013). He died on February 9, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

31. Steven Price

Composer | Gravity

Steven Price is an Academy Award-winning composer. In 2014 his groundbreaking score for Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity won him not only the Academy Award but also the BAFTA, the Critics' Choice Award, the Satellite Award, and ASCAP's first-ever Film Composer of The Year Award. He has since scored Fury, ...

32. 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 ...

33. Alberto Iglesias

Composer | La piel que habito

Alberto Iglesias was born in 1955 in Donostia-San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, País Vasco, Spain as Alberto Iglesias Fernández-Berridi. He is known for his work on La piel que habito (2011), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and The Constant Gardener (2005).

34. A.R. Rahman

Composer | Slumdog Millionaire

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 ...



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