My Favorite Composers

by clarktanaka | created - 28 May 2020 | updated - 01 Jul 2020 | Public

List of my Top 10 Film Composers

1. John Williams

Composer | Star Wars

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 52 Oscar ...

2. 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 ...

3. Klaus Badelt

Composer | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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 ...

4. 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, ...

5. Alan Silvestri

Composer | The Polar Express

In his ongoing, decades-long career as a 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. With a credit list of over 100 films Silvestri has composed some of the most recognizable and ...

6. Ludwig Göransson

Composer | The Mandalorian

Ludwig Göransson was born on September 1, 1984 in Linköping, Östergötlands län, Sweden. He is known for his work on The Mandalorian (2019), Tenet (2020) and Black Panther (2018). He has been married to Serena McKinney since 2018. They have one child.

7. Alan Menken

Soundtrack | Beauty and the Beast

Alan Menken was born on July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York, USA as Alan Irwin Menken. He is known for his work on Beauty and the Beast (1991), Hercules (1997) and Tangled (2010). He has been married to Janis Menken since November 26, 1972. They have two children.

8. 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 ...

9. Andrew Lockington

Composer | San Andreas

Andrew Lockington is best known for his epic score to the Warner Bros/Newline Blockbuster San Andreas, contributing to the film grossing close to $475 million worldwide. Andrew's other credits include the Golden Globe nominated Frankie and Alice starring Halle Berry, Fox 2000's Percy Jackson: Sea ...

10. 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 ...

11. David Newman

Composer | The Nutty Professor

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...

12. Blake Neely

Composer | Greyhound

Blake Neely was born on April 28, 1969 in Paris, Texas, USA. He is known for his work on Greyhound (2020), All American (2018) and You (2018).

13. Rupert Gregson-Williams

Composer | Wonder Woman

Rupert Gregson-Williams was born on February 21, 1967 in Tonbridge, Kent, England as Rupert William Gregson-Williams. He is known for his work on Wonder Woman (2017), Hacksaw Ridge (2016) and The Crown (2016). He has been married to Emma Jacobs since 1996. They have one child.

14. Christopher Drake

Composer | Creepshow

Christopher Drake's music empowers a diverse array of projects, transcending medium and genre. Drake has shown mastery composing across different formats with film, television and video games. Drake has collaborated many times with beloved cult filmmaker Kevin Smith, including music for Smith's ...

15. Harry Gregson-Williams

Composer | Shrek

Harry Gregson-Williams is one of Hollywood's most sought-after and prolific composers whose long list of film and television credits underscore the diverse range of his talents. Gregson-Williams wrote the music for Disney's live-action feature film "Mulan" which had a premium video on-demand ...

16. Mark Mothersbaugh

Composer | Thor: Ragnarok

Graduate of Woodridge High School in Peninsula, Ohio.

Attended Kent State University (1970-73) in Kent, Ohio, to focus on attaining an art degree. While at Kent State Mothersbaugh met Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis, who ultimately joined him in forming the 1970-80s avant-garde band Devo.

Awarded an ...

17. John Powell

Composer | Solo: A Star Wars Story

John Powell was born on September 18, 1963 in London, England. He is known for his work on Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and Rio (2011). He was previously married to Melinda Lerner.

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). He was previously married to Edith Ruth Price, Sara Jane Tallman and Barbara Jo Davidson.

19. John Debney

Music_department | The Jungle Book

John Debney's career seemed destined for Hollywood, the son of Disney Studios producer Louis Debney, John grew up in nearby Glendale, California where he got early inspiration for film and music growing up on the Disney Studio lot. The child of two musicians, John showed an early aptitude for music...

20. 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.

21. Vangelis

Composer | Blade Runner

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 ...

22. Mark Mancina

Composer | Speed

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 (2001), is a benchmark score that expanded the boundaries of scoring street-wise drama, and is widely...



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