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James Horner

August 14, 1953 -
born in Los Angeles, CA, composed during the Contemporary period
James Horner is one of the most famous film composers. He is the son of Harry Horner, a motion picture set designer. When he was quite young, the family moved to England, where he acquired an English accent. He spent his teenage years back in Los Angeles, but returned to England to attend the Royal College of Music in London. His composition teacher there was György Ligeti, a leading avant-garde composer whose music was used in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Horner's intent was to become a classical composer.

Believing his chances in serious music (which he concluded required getting a university post) were greater in the U.S., Horner transferred to the University of Southern California, where he obtained an undergraduate degree. He took his masters and doctorate in music theory and composition at UCLA and was offered a teaching position there. He wrote an orchestral work, Spectral Shimmer. After a frustrating effort to get it performed, it was played once (for an audience of 400, he says) by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Then Horner received an offer to score documentaries for the American Film Institute and "got hooked" on the process of writing music and immediately hearing it performed by an orchestra. He decided to become a film composer.

He went to work for Roger Corman's company, New World Pictures, and Horner became adept a writing scores quickly. He became known for an ability to obtain a large Hollywood sound with minimal means. The best-known of his scores from the Corman years is Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) but the same year he did his first important film, Lady in Red. After that, he began to work for major studios and drew his first prominent assignment inn 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The score was notable both for its warmth and from its eschewing unusual instrumentation or "spacey" effects. This led to other special effects action films, Krull and Brainstorm, in the latter of which he used a fascinating mix of orchestral, choral, and synthesized sound. He became noted for his touching, warm-hearted music in Ron Howard's Cocoon (1985).

In 1986 he was reunited with another Corman alumnus, director James Cameron, on Aliens. The experience was nearly disastrous -- Cameron gave him only ten days to complete the score, and during that period tried to get Horner to do rewrites, which was impossible. Horner vowed never to work with Cameron again. Nevertheless, Horner received his first Academy Award nomination for that score, which is notable for having a very different musical effect and no common musical elements from the first Alien film (scored by Jerry Goldsmith).

He has composed nearly 100 soundtracks with sounds ranging from Russian (Gorky Park), world music (Where the River Runs Black), and American rural (Field of Dreams) to medieval (The Name of the Rose). He often scores "against type," as in the case of the Civil War epic Glory, noted for its elegiac tone rather than explicit battle music. Other notable films scored by Horner are The Rocketeer, Legends of the Fall, Clear and Present Danger, The Mask of Zorro, The Perfect Storm, and Enemy at the Gates.

But he is best known for his score to Cameron's Titanic, the most profitable soundtrack recording in history. Horner reversed his stand on working with Cameron on reading the script and approached the director, who in the meantime had deeply admired Horner's music for Braveheart and Apollo 13.

Now the rather shy composer (who lives a comfortable distance from Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters) is often recognized and asked for autographs. ~ Joseph Stevenson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Title: Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Film Score

Comments

I a total nerd when it comes to the titanic movie because I really recite word for word the first 5 scenes of the movie
So cool they have him because I am a geek of titanic
Such beautiful music
@MetroGnome, ha, ha. Good thinking.
Beautiful music
My heart will go on...beautif u l music...neve r seen the Titanic, but just the music makes me wanna cry.
they should do an epic sequel where the titanic shows up in the wreckage of Pandora, reunited with the spirit force of Leonardo decaprio in an Avatar body. Oh and almost forgot, Nicolas Cage should be in it. XD
Ya its such a short song only 11.32 minutes long!! i think anyway
!!!!!LOL
The Avatar film score song is way way too short!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
Braveheart is the best movie ever!!
Braveheart!
Omg I love this song. AVATAR ROCKS
I LOVE AVATAR BEST MOVIE EVER. AND THE MUISC IS AWSOME.
maaronson86
Love titanic I watch it all the time! Best movie made in the 1990's
One of the greatest movies...AVA T A R <3333
AAAAAHHHH I JUST LOVE SPIDERMAN!!! ! ! IT IS SSSOOO GOOD!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
I would give this movie 999,999,999, 9 9 9 , 9 9 9 thumbs up if I could!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! And the music is so great!
It's so sad how uncle Ben dies though! That part is so sad! :(
The Amazing Spiderman is the best movie I have EVER SEEN!!!!!! It is amazing!!!! Everyone has to watch it!!!!
Andrew Garfield is a great actor!!!!!
I love The Amazing Spiderman!!! ;)
The Mask of Zorro is fabulous!!!! !
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed in the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tommorow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. You started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this in at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers band witll appear on the screen in big letters it's so scary because it actually works
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed
Its the end of the chapter and soon the end of the story. Then on to a new read.
Troy :') sad but amazing
I love titanic!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I love titanic!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
He did Avatar's music?! Awesome!!!!
I always cry for three hrs at the end when dicaprio I mean like seriously y can't that other b**ch die instead of. Dicaprio
Star Trek, all other arguments are invalid.
I am a 20 year old in the USMC and have lived on MC bases my entire life and personally know hundreds of marines....w h e r e everyone I know listens to everything there is out there I listen only to James Horner on Pandora, good to go
mrc6331
Tear tear splash <3 loved it
hpahs.7
Don't read this because it really works. U will be kissed by the love of your life on the nearest possible Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. But if u don't post this u will die in two days. Now u have started reading so don't stop. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes and when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. It's scary b/c it works.
Jack is hawwt
sgcchope
I love this movie and Jack Dawson is my fav character in this movie :)
BEST MOVIE EVA
9463000
Hauntingly beautiful... Love it
I love all the music from Titanic.. And also Titanic is my number 1 favourite movie
One of my favorites, and such talent!
karlacalvare z
I love this song it has rhythm beat and it's interesting: - O
tyler5142
This man is a genuis
Love his music
AVATAR.....I S THE SINGLE BEST FILM SCORE IN THE WORLD. I LOBE THE VOCALS THE MUSIC AND MOST OF ALL, ALL OF IT!!!!(sorry I felt the need to write in caps)
izzym2
Spider-Man rocks!!!!!!! : )
vballgirl200 1
Go spider man
THE MOVIE IS THE BEST THING EVER EXISTING IN THE UNIVERSE!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! I<3AVATAR!!! ! ! ! !
I'm listening to the avatar music! Who knew? :) ( blue )
Avatar was amazing, Titanic was moving, and The Amazing Spider-Man was thrilling!! Wonderful composer!!
yvimob9498
Love the movie so much but it is so touching to the people this happened too and to the people that died on this boat on 1912 of April
This track will always hold a special place in my heart. It is what got me infatuated with movie scores.
Love Titanic!!!! :) my heart will go on and on!!!!
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