MEET THE COMPOSER: JOHN WILLIAMS

John Williams was born on Long Island, New York, in 1932. When he was 16, he moved with his family to Los Angeles, where he enrolled at UCLA. At UCLA, he studied composition with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, an Italian composer who had a significant influence on Williams. At the age of 22, Williams decided to return to New York City and enroll in The Juilliard School, a famous conservatory. While in New York, he worked as a jazz pianist in clubs and on recordings. He returned to Los Angeles, where he began his career in the film industry. He started playing in Hollywood studio orchestras, but was soon invited to orchestrate certain scenes and to conduct the orchestra while the conductor was having lunch. Eventually, he was asked to write his own film score and went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s. Today, John Williams is considered to be one of the best and most successful American film composers. He is the winner of five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes, two Emmys and five BAFTA Awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and has been awarded several gold and platinum records.
Soundtracks: ‡ Star Wars series ‡ Jaws ‡ E.T. ‡ Schindler's List ‡ Indiana Jones series ‡ Saving Private Ryan ‡ The Harry Potter series ‡ Jurassic Park series ‡ Home Alone ‡ Superman series ‡ JFK
The Harry Potter movies use a compositional technique called ³leitmotif,´ which is a recurring theme that is associated with a specific person or place. The most famous of the leitmotifs used is Hedwig¶s Theme.

but the partnership with Burton was a perfect match and is still going strong today. Elfman was apprehensive at first. Elfman joined a musical theater troupe with his brother called Oingo Boingo. California. Upon returning to the States. He later moved to Africa.MEET THE COMPOSER: DANNY ELFMAN Danny Elfman was born on May 29. and their son. where he played the violin on the street to make a living. where he absorbed many musical influences. They are often very memorable and easy to hum! . 1953 in Los Angeles. Elfman has the written the score to almost every Burton movie. Tim Burton hired Elfman to write the score to his first feature film Pee-wee¶s Big Adventure. due to his lack of formal training. His themes have become as memorable and entertaining as the moving pictures they accompany. Oingo Boingo eventually became a recording and touring rock band that Elfman remained a part of until its break-up in 1995. marveling at the music that accompanied each picture. After dropping out of high school. Soundtracks: ‡ The Simpsons ‡ Pee-wee¶s Playhouse ‡ Men in Black ‡ Batman ‡ Spiderman ‡ Beetlejuice ‡ Edward Sissorhands ‡ The Nightmare Before Christmas ‡ Good Will Hunting ‡ Desperate Housewives Can you hum the theme to The Simpsons or to Spiderman? Composers think of musical themes that link to a specific character or theme. and completed his first musical score for his brother¶s first film called Forbidden Zone. which forced him to move back to the United States. Today Elfman is known as one of the most unique and prolific composers writing music for movies and television. Bridget Fonda. He contracted malaria. In 1985. Elfman spent most of his childhood in movie theaters. he moved to France with his brother. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

Mancini enrolled at The Juilliard School in New York. Mancini got into the music business. and conducted over fifty concerts a year. His themes are known for their jazzy style and have become some of the most well known in the business. winning 20. including Mario Castelnuovo. Soundtracks: ‡ The Pink Panther ‡ Peter Gun ‡ Charlie¶s Angels ‡ Breakfast at Tiffany¶s ‡ Days of Wine and Roses ‡ The Great Race ‡ The Creature from the Black Lagoon ‡ It Came from Outer Space ‡ Victor/Victoria ‡ Touch of Evil . in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland. After high school.MEET THE COMPOSER: HENRY MANCINI Henry Mancini was born on April 16. Music was an important part of his childhood. Mancini has been nominated for a record 72 Grammy's. 1924. and over the next six years contributed to the music for over 100 movies. and grew up near Pittsburg. winning four. Although his main influences were swing and jazz. In 1952 he was hired by Universal Studios. Pennsylvania. and 18 Academy Awards. Ohio.Tedesco (who was also one of John Williams instructors). He took piano lessons at the age of twelve and later played flute with his father in a band of Italian immigrants. landing the job of pianist and arranger for the newly formed Glenn Miller Orchestra. focusing not only on movies but television and concert music as well. He recorded over 90 albums. until he was drafted into the army a year later. After leaving the army. Mancini left Universal in 1958 to become an independent composer and arranger. during this time he also studied classical counterpoint and harmony with many renowned instructors.

but I've never had the luck to be offered such films. his father encouraged him to study the violin and regularly took him to the opera. and by 1943 became the chief conductor of the CBS Symphony Orchestra. I've had fantasies of bittersweet romantic stories. director." ² Bernard Herrmann . they decided I was a big suspense man. including War of the Worlds. 1911 in New York City. none is as noteworthy as his work with writer and director Alfred Hitchcock. they like to pigeonhole you. Hitchcock¶s style of long suspenseful pauses lent perfectly to Herrmann¶s style of composing. Herrmann won a $100 composition prize and decided to focus seriously on music. At the age of thirteen. including Psycho. While at CBS Herrmann met soon to be famous writer. I think I'd enjoy writing a good comedy score. Among all of Herrmann¶s collaborations. Citizen Kane.MEET THE COMPOSER: BERNARD HERRMANN Bernard Herrmann was born June 29. and The Birds. writing the score to one of the most famous of Welles¶ pictures. He enrolled at New York University and then eventually The Juilliard School where he studied music full time. and actor Orson Welles. In the 1930¶s Herrmann started working as a staff conductor at CBS. Danny Elfman cites him as his main influence. When Welles moved on to movies. Welles and Herrmann collaborated on many famous broadcasts. Herrmann wrote the music for all the Hitchcock movies between 1955 and 1964. Soundtracks: ‡ Citizen Kane ‡ The Day the Earth Stood Still ‡ Psycho ‡ Vertigo ‡ The Man Who Knew Too Much ‡ North by Northwest ‡ Fahrenheit 451 ‡ It¶s Alive ‡ Taxi Driver "In California. Herrmann went with him. On other occasions. As a child. Herrmann¶s music has been extremely influential to other composers and musicians. which typically used many repeating patterns and unusual orchestration. Mancini gets the cheerful ones. From the time I began working for Hitchcock. Vertigo.

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