Film / TV Composer Favourites (by StuOz)

by StuOz | created - 08 Feb 2017 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

Often unknown composers who worked TV's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964), Lost In Space (1965), The Time Tunnel (1966), Land Of The Giants (1968), Batman (1966), The Outer Limits (1963) Star Trek (1966), QM's The Invaders (1967), Shazam! (1974) and Captain Nemo (1978).

To my current knowledge, Andre Previn only did one score I like - Dead Image (aka Dead Ringer) - in 1964. But this outstanding score was pinched by Richard LaSalle and used in other productions..for example Irwin Allen's 1975 Swiss Family Robinson TV movie. So when you hear it, you will probably know it, as it was re-used.

See also my three sister lists titled: Bernard Herrmann Scores, John Williams Scores and Jerry Goldsmith Scores.

1. John Williams

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 ...

2. Jerry Goldsmith

Music_department | Star Trek: First Contact

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 ...

3. 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 ...

4. Alexander Courage

Soundtrack | X-Men: Days of Future Past

Alexander Courage was born on December 10, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Alexander Mair Courage Jr. He is known for his work on X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek Beyond (2016). He was married to Shirley Pumpelly. He died on May 15, 2008 in...

5. Leith Stevens

Composer | The War of the Worlds

Leith Stevens was born on September 13, 1909 in Mount Moriah, Missouri, USA. He is known for his work on The War of the Worlds (1953), Destination Moon (1950) and Julie (1956). He was married to Elizabeth Stevens and Mary McCoy. He died on July 23, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

6. John Barry

Music_department | Dances with Wolves

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 ...

7. Richard LaSalle

Composer | Piranha

A composer, conductor, pianist and entertainer, Richard W. "Dick" LaSalle was educated at the University of Colorado. He wrote for radio in Denver, Colorado, and performed in area hotels as a pianist and orchestra leader between 1940 and 1955. He joined the American Society of Composers and ...

8. Billy May

Music_department | The Green Hornet

Distinguished multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter, arranger, conductor and songwriter whose instantly-recognizable style remains a longtime trademark. The son of a roofer and a youthful asthmatic, his physician advised therapy through playing the tuba. In his school band, he developed an appreciation...

9. Nelson Riddle

Music_department | The Great Gatsby

Versatile Ameican arranger/conducter who started as a trombonist with several big bands, including Tommy Dorsey. In a long, distinguished career, he not only scored numerous films and television shows, but made many now-legendary recordings in collaboration with such people as Rosemary Clooney, Nat...

10. Stu Phillips

Composer | Knight Rider

Stu Phillips was born on September 9, 1929 in the USA as Stuart Phillips. He is known for his work on Knight Rider (1982), Argo (2012) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).

11. Miklós Rózsa

Composer | Ben-Hur

A child prodigy, Miklos Rosza learned to play the violin at the age of five and read music before he was able to read words. In 1926, he began studying at the Leipzig Conservatory where he was considered a brilliant student. He obtained his doctorate in music in 1930. Moving to Paris the following ...

13. Ben Lanzarone

Composer | Hotel

Son-in-law of Jerry Graff.

14. Ron Grainer

Composer | The Omega Man

Ron Grainer was one of the outstanding composers of music for British television. He was born in a small mining town called Atherton, Queensland, Australia on 11th August 1922, where his father owned the local milk bar. His mother played piano and Ron was on the keyboard from the age of two and ...

15. Michael Vickers

Music_department | At the Earth's Core

Michael Vickers was born on April 18, 1941 in Southhampton, England. He is known for his work on At the Earth's Core (1976), My Lover, My Son (1970) and Lovebox (1972).

16. Leonard Rosenman

Composer | Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Leonard Rosenman was born on September 7, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He is known for his work on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Barry Lyndon (1975) and La La Land (2016). He was married to Judie Gregg, Adele Bracker and Kay Scott. He died on March 4, 2008 in Woodland ...

17. David Buttolph

Composer | 13 Rue Madeleine

Prolific screen composer, arranger, and conductor, educated at Juillard and the Academie fur Musik in Vienna. He played in night clubs in Vienna and Munich from 1923 to 1926, then was an opera coach in Munich, 1926-1927. In 1927 he conducted for NBC, and then became music director for WGY in ...

18. Bruce Broughton

Music_department | Lost in Space

Bruce Broughton composes in almost every medium, from theatrical motion pictures and television to computer games, in styles ranging from large symphonic settings ("Silverado") to contemporary electronic scores (the recently Emmy-nominated "The Dive from Clausen's Pier"). Broughton has written the ...

19. 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 ...

20. Jerry Fielding

Composer | The Wild Bunch

A three-time Oscar nominee, Jerry Fielding was among the boldest and most experimental of all Hollywood film composers. His music typically utilized advanced compositional procedures, producing dense, often richly dissonant orchestral textures, sometimes flavored with jazz. Fielding's film music ...

21. Barry Gray

Composer | Stingray

Although many reference sources inexplicably give Barry Gray's year of birth as 1925, he was in fact born John Livesey Eccles in Blackburn on 18 July 1908. His father John Haworth Eccles was a stationery traveller by profession, but both parents were said to be musically talented, and John Junior ...

22. Lalo Schifrin

Music_department | Rush Hour

Immensely talented, Argentinian born pianist, conductor and composer who has written over 100 scores for both television & the cinema including the memorable themes to Mission: Impossible (1966), Mannix (1967), Starsky and Hutch (1975), Cool Hand Luke (1967), and Bullitt (1968). Schifrin has ...

23. 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. ...

24. Fred Steiner

Music_department | The Color Purple

Of Hungarian ancestry, the son of film composer George Steiner followed in his father's footsteps. A child prodigy, he played the piano by the age of six and cello at thirteen. Growing up in Manhattan, Fred immersed himself in his father's vast collection of records, which included a great deal of ...

25. Dominic Frontiere

Music_department | Color of Night

Dominic Carmen Frontiere, 86, Emmy and Golden Globe winning film and television composer, former head of music at Paramount Pictures, passed away in Tesuque, New Mexico on 21 December 2017. He is survived by his wife Robin and their children Emily, Joseph, Nicholas and Sofia, as well as daughter ...

26. David Arnold

Soundtrack | Casino Royale

David Arnold was born on January 23, 1962 in Luton, England. He is known for his work on Casino Royale (2006), Independence Day (1996) and Godzilla (1998). He has been married to Ellie Pole since June 8, 1996. They have three children.

27. 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 ...

28. Ray Ellis

Soundtrack | Arbitrage

Conductor, composer, arranger, saxophonist, clarinetist and record producer Ray Ellis has arranged for a dozen million-selling records. A student of the saxophone from age twelve, he learned all the reed instruments by age fifteen. By sixteen he began working with name bands, and joined the US Army...

29. Alex North

Music_department | Spartacus

Alex North studied music at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia, then won a scholarship to Juilliard in New York (1929) and the Moscow Conservatoire (1933), making him the first-ever American to become a member of the Union of Soviet Composers. In Europe, he worked as music director for the ...

30. David Rose

Soundtrack | Falling Down

David Rose was born on June 15, 1910 in London, England. He is known for his work on Falling Down (1993), Bonanza (1959) and Lionheart (1990). He was married to Betty Bartholomew, Judy Garland and Martha Raye. He died on August 23, 1990 in Burbank, California, USA.

31. 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...

33. Herman Stein

Composer | The Time Tunnel

Composer, arranger and pianist, he was a child prodigy who was already a keyboard artist at three and a concert performer at six. A self-taught orchestrator, he learned musical theory in the local public library, and soon was arranging music for popular bandleaders including Count Basie and Fred ...

34. Gerald Fried

Music_department | Soylent Green

Composer, author and oboist, educated at Juilliard (BS). He was first oboist for the Dallas Symphony and the New York Little Orchestra between 1948 and 1956. Then he joined Revue Studios in California, lasting until 1960, thereafter working freelance. Joining ASCAP in 1956, his chief musical ...

36. Harry Geller

Composer | The Wild Wild West

Harry Geller was born on June 7, 1913 as Harry Max Geller. He is known for his work on The Wild Wild West (1965), Mission: Impossible (1966) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964). He died on February 15, 2008.

37. Lennie Hayton

Music_department | Singin' in the Rain

Composer, MGM music director (1940-1953), conductor, arranger and pianist in the jazz groups of 'Frankie Trumbauer', Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti and others. He was also with the Paul Whiteman orchestra. He also was music director for Lena Horne, his wife. Joining ASCAP in 1953, his ...

38. Van Cleave

Music_department | White Christmas

His favorite hobby was model trains.

39. Alfred Newman

Composer | All About Eve

Alfred Newman was born on March 17, 1901 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He is known for his work on All About Eve (1950), How the West Was Won (1962) and V for Vendetta (2005). He was married to Martha Montgomery and Mary Lou Dix. He died on February 17, 1970 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California,...

40. Hugo Friedhofer

Composer | The Best Years of Our Lives

Hugo Friedhofer -- how many times have you seen that name in the credits of 1930s and '40s movies for "orchestration" or "musical arranger" and thought -- Gee, what a busy guy! He was, and, ironically, much of that work went uncredited. He is not usually mentioned with the great film composers of ...

41. Dimitri Tiomkin

Music_department | High Noon

Dimitri Tiomkin was a Russian Jewish composer who emigrated to America and became one of the most distinguished and best-loved music writers of Hollywood. He won a hallowed place in the pantheon of the most successful and productive composers in American film history, earning himself four Oscars ...

42. 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 ...

43. Pete Rugolo

Composer | The Bold Ones: The Lawyers

One of the great arrangers of the Big Band era, Sicilian-born Peter Rugolo was five years old when his family moved to Santa Rosa, California. He attended San Francisco College and in the 1930's studied composition under the classical composer Darius Milhaud. After military service in World War II,...

44. Dennis McCarthy

Composer | Star Trek: Generations

Dennis McCarthy was born in 1945. He is a composer, known for Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). He has been married to Patty since 1965. They have three children.

45. Frédéric Talgorn

Composer | Fortress

Frédéric Talgorn was born on July 3, 1961 in Toulouse, France. He is known for his work on Fortress (1992), Robot Jox (1989) and RRRrrrr!!! (2004).

46. 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 ...

47. George Martin

Music_department | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Known best as the record producer for The Beatles, George Martin had a long and varied musical career, and continues to enjoy a rare reputation as one of popular music's true "nice guys."

Martin was born into a working-class family in Drayton Park, England, on 3 January 1926. His classical music ...

48. André Previn

Music_department | My Fair Lady

German-American pianist, composer, arranger and conductor André George Previn (born Andreas Ludwig Priwin, in Berlin) was for eight decades a hugely influential and prolific figure in jazz, as well as classical and film music. Being Jewish, Previn's family was forced to leave Hitler's Germany in ...



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