My top film composers

by mackpiggy | created - 16 Oct 2012 | updated - 04 Apr 2018 | Public

This list is updated periodically with new composers that I find intriguing.

1. Alexandre Desplat

Composer | The King's Speech

Composer and conductor Alexandre Desplat, Oscar winner and seven-time Academy Award nominated, for his prolific filmography and his collaborations with Stephen Frears, Terrence Malick, Ang Lee, Kathryn Bigelow, Jacques Audiard, Wes Anderson, Roman Polanski, George Clooney or Matteo Garrone is one ...

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 and 2 3. The Painted Veil 4. Extremely loud and Incredibly Close 5.

2. 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.

3. 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, ...

1. The Fugitive 2. The Hunger Games 3. The Village 4. The Sixth Sense 5. The Dark Knight

4. 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) ...

1. Wall-E 2. American Beauty 3. The Shawshank Redemption 4. Finding Nemo 5.

5. 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 ...

1. Edward Scissorhands 2. The Simpsons 3. Batman (1989) 4. Men In Black 5. Pee-wee's Big Adventure

6. 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 ...

1.The Ring 2. The Dark Knight 3. Inception 4. Hannibal 5. Lion King

7. 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 ...

1. The Silence of the Lambs 2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy 3. Se7en 4. 5.

8. 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), ...

1. UP 2. LOST 3. John Carter 4. Star Trek (2009, 2013)

9. 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 41 Oscar ...

1. Star Wars, 2. Harry Potter 3. War of the Worlds 4. Jurassic Park 5. Jaws 6. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

10. 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 ...

1. Back to the Future trilogy 2.Forrest Gump 3. Contact

11. Junkie XL

Soundtrack | Mad Max: Fury Road

Junkie XL was born on December 8, 1967 in Lichtenvoorde, Gelderland, Netherlands as Antonius B. Holkenborg.

Mad Max

12. Cliff Martinez

Composer | Only God Forgives

Cliff Martinez was born on February 5, 1954 in The Bronx, New York, USA. He is a composer, known for Only God Forgives (2013), Drive (2011) and The Neon Demon (2016).

1. Contagion 2. Drive 3. Only God Forgives

13. 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. His latest projects include the science fiction action thriller "The Meg," directed by Jon Turteltaub, the action ...

1. Enemy of the State, 2. Chronicles of Narnia 3. Deja Vu 4. Shrek

14. Marco Beltrami

Composer | I, Robot

Marco Beltrami was born on October 7, 1966 in New York City, New York, USA. He is known for his work on I, Robot (2004), World War Z (2013) and Knowing (2009).

1. Scream 1-4, 2. Warm Bodies

15. Carter Burwell

Music_department | Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Carol (2015) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011). He has been married to Christine Sciulli since ...

Almost every Cohen Bros. movie

16. 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 ...

1. Psycho 2. The Twilight Zone 3. The Day the Earth Stood Still

17. Henry Jackman

Composer | Kingsman: The Secret Service

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 ...

18. Benjamin Wallfisch

Composer | Blade Runner 2049

Composer of David F. Sandberg's SHAZAM!, Andy Muschietti's IT, and co-composer of Denis Villeneuve's BLADE RUNNER: 2049 (with Hans Zimmer), Benjamin Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and received Golden Globe, BAFTA, 2x GRAMMY and EMMY nominations. He is currently scoring IT: CHAPTER ...

19. Jerry Goldsmith

Music_department | Star Trek: Insurrection

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 ...

1. Alien 2. The Twilight Zone 3. Star Trek: Voyager 4. Gremlins 5. Poltergeist

20. Nathan Barr

Composer | Cabin Fever

Nathan Barr is a unique breed of composer. In addition to writing his scores, he also performs all of the instruments heard in many of his compositions. Skilled in many styles and genres, ranging from orchestral to rock, Barr is known for his collection and inclusion of rare and unusual instruments...

1. True Blood 2. Hemlock Grove

21. 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 Moon (2009).

1. Moon 2. Requiem for a Dream

22. 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, ...

23. Joseph Bishara

Composer | Insidious

Joseph Bishara is a composer, known for Insidious (2010), The Conjuring 2 (2016) and The Conjuring (2013).

1. Insidious 2. The Conjuring

24. Theodore Shapiro

Composer | The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Theodore Shapiro was born on September 29, 1971 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Theodore Michael Shapiro. He is a composer, known for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), Tropic Thunder (2008) and I Love You, Man (2009).

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

25. Brian Tyler

Composer | Iron Man Three

Brian Tyler is known for his work on Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Eagle Eye (2008).

1. Modern Warfare 3 2. Bug, 3. Constantine

26. James Horner

Music_department | Avatar

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 ...

1. Braveheart 2. Apollo 13 3. Aliens

27. Steve Jablonsky

Composer | Transformers

Steve Jablonsky was born on October 9, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is known for his work on Transformers (2007), Desperate Housewives (2004) and Deepwater Horizon (2016).

Transformers, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003, 2006), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

28. 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 ...

29. Christophe Beck

Composer | Frozen

Christophe Beck was born in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as Jean-Christophe Beck. He is known for his work on Frozen (2013), Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).

30. Mark Mancina

Soundtrack | Twister

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...

31. Tyler Bates

Composer | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

It's anything but typical for the realms of film or music... Tyler Bates regularly transitions from scoring some of the world's biggest film and television franchises, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and John Wick, to rocking massive audiences with Marilyn Manson and back to the studio again ...

1. Rob Zombie films 2. Dawn of the Dead 3. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

32. Roque Baños

Composer | Evil Dead

Roque Baños was born in 1968 in Jumilla, Murcia, Spain as Roque Baños López. He is known for his work on Evil Dead (2013), Don't Breathe (2016) and In the Heart of the Sea (2015).

Evil Dead (2013)

33. 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...

Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby

34. 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...

Sin City, The Passion of the Christ

35. Andrea Guerra

Composer | Hotel Rwanda

Andrea Guerra was born in October 1961 in Santarcangelo di Romagna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. He is a composer, known for Hotel Rwanda (2004), The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) and Nine (2009).

1. The Pursuit of Happiness 2. Hotel Rwanda

36. Andrew Hewitt

Composer | The Double

Andrew lives in Los Angeles, holds the greencard, and recently completed his 15th feature film score. He combines a lifelong passion for film with extensive classical training, recording and performance experience. Andrew orchestrates and conducts all his scores, fusing them with electronic ...

The Double



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