Artist of the Week
James Horner (Aug 14, 1953-June 22, 2015)
James Horner was an America composer and conductor who was best known for his work in scoring films. James began playing the piano at the age of 5. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London. James then returned to America and earned his Bachelor’s degree. As is common in our current musical era; Horner went on to earn a Master’s Degree and pursued a Doctorate at UCLA. Once he was done at UCLA, Horner turned his attention to Film scores.
Even with his list of credentials, Horner began his film scoring career working on B films. Proof that hard work does not go unnoticed; James soon gained opportunities to work on larger scale films for higher profile directors. A turning point in his career came when he scored the music for the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. From that point on James Horner became one of the most active and sought after composers in the movie making industry. His list of movies that he has scored is too numerous to list in their entirety, but some of the most notable are: Titanic, The Mask of Zoro, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, Troy, Field of Dreams, and Avatar.
Horner’s compositions are especially known for their developing motivic ideas, (no doubt owing to his years spent studying music in school). He is also known for working Celtic ideas and motifs into his scores and well as electronic and choral sounds.
In addition to music, Horner was an avid pilot. Although he was well seasoned at flying, his plane crashed outside Ventucopa, California and he was tragically killed in June of this summer. In his lifetime Horner won 12 Grammy Awards for his compositions. In addition to the numerous awards he was nominated for, he won 2 Academy Awards and 2 Golden Globes.
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