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James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 9, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: composer, musician, songwriter, conductor, music producer, orchestrator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An incredibly prolific and versatile composer, James Newton Howard scored a dizzying array of popular and critically acclaimed films, beginning with "Pretty Woman" (1990), "The Prince of Tides" (1991), "The Fugitive" (1993) and "Wyatt Earp" (1994), through "The Sixth Sense" (1999) "Batman Begins" (2005), "King Kong" (2005) and "I am Legend" (2007). Howard - who first sat down at a piano at age two - went on to earn a degree in music and orchestration from the University of Southern California's School of Music, and could have, theoretically, dove right into movie scoring - except for a midstream diversion as a remarkable pop musician in the 1970s, playing keyboards for Elton John, Cher and Toto, among others. Inspiring the loyalty of many prominent filmmakers, Howard enjoyed ongoing working relationships with Lawrence Kasdan, M. Night Shyamalan and sometime director, Kevin Costner. With sweeping scores drawing upon his early exposure to Beethoven and Bach, and melodies informed by his brief but potent career in pop rock, Howard's scores literally resonated with millions of moviegoers, even if household name recognition continued to elude him. But with his stated growing interested in more ambitious...

An incredibly prolific and versatile composer, James Newton Howard scored a dizzying array of popular and critically acclaimed films, beginning with "Pretty Woman" (1990), "The Prince of Tides" (1991), "The Fugitive" (1993) and "Wyatt Earp" (1994), through "The Sixth Sense" (1999) "Batman Begins" (2005), "King Kong" (2005) and "I am Legend" (2007). Howard - who first sat down at a piano at age two - went on to earn a degree in music and orchestration from the University of Southern California's School of Music, and could have, theoretically, dove right into movie scoring - except for a midstream diversion as a remarkable pop musician in the 1970s, playing keyboards for Elton John, Cher and Toto, among others. Inspiring the loyalty of many prominent filmmakers, Howard enjoyed ongoing working relationships with Lawrence Kasdan, M. Night Shyamalan and sometime director, Kevin Costner. With sweeping scores drawing upon his early exposure to Beethoven and Bach, and melodies informed by his brief but potent career in pop rock, Howard's scores literally resonated with millions of moviegoers, even if household name recognition continued to elude him. But with his stated growing interested in more ambitious themes and unusual arrangements - coupled with his Oscar-nominated score for the George Clooney legal thriller "Michael Clayton" (2007) - many in the industry believed his best work was still yet to come.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Score, The (2002)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began studying piano as a child
:
Dropped out before graduating from college to become a rock'n'roll musician
:
Played with the band Mama Lion
1974:
Recorded eponymous solo album
:
Became associated with record producer Richard Perry; served as session keyboardist for Carly Simon, Diana Ross and others
:
Served as multi-keyboard artist for Elton John with whom he toured in 1975-76 and 1980-81
:
Wrote and produced for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Cher, Randy Newman, Olivia Newton-John and Chaka Kahn
1984:
Released a solo album, "James Newton Howard and Friends"
1986:
Acted as conductor and orchestrator on Elton John's tour of Australia
1986:
First screen credit, for song "Prove Me Wrong" in "White Nights"
1986:
Composed first film score for "Wildcats"
1987:
Wrote music for several episodes of PBS series, "Trying Times"
1989:
Received Emmy nomination for composing music for the short-lived ABC drama series, "Men"
:
Co-wrote the hit song "Everything" for singer Jody Watley
1991:
Garnered first Oscar nomination for score for Barbra Streisand's "The Prince of Tides"
1993:
Received second Academy Award nomination for Best Score for "The Fugitive"
1995:
Earned first Oscar nomination for Best Song for co-writing "Look What Love Has Done" from the film, "Junior"
1996:
Received second Best Song Academy Award nomination for Best Song for "For the First Time" from the film, "One Fine Day"
1997:
Gained fifth overall Oscar nomination for Best Musical or Comedy Score for "My Best Friend's Wedding"
1999:
Wrote the dramatic underscore for the hit thriller "The Sixth Sense"
1999:
Composed the spare music (employing a cello and a Japanese bamboo flute, the shakuhaci) for "Snow Falling on Cedars"
2000:
Composed the theme music for the ABC drama "Gideon's Crossing"; earned Emmy nomination
2001:
Collaborated with Diane Warren on the song "Where the Dream Takes You" for Disney's animated feature "Atlantis: The Lost Empire"; also provided original dramatic underscore
2003:
Composed the theme music for P.J. Hogan's "Peter Pan"
2004:
Scored the music for M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score
2005:
Scored the music for Peter Jackson's "King Kong"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score
2007:
Earned seventh Academy Award nomination for scoring the film, "Michael Clayton"
2008:
Composed (with Hans Zimmer) the music score for "The Dark Knight"
2008:
Scored the music for Edward Zwick's "Defiance"; earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California -
Music Academy of the West: Santa Barbara , California -

Notes

"Even though I was an instrumentalist and I had composed some instrumental music, the idea of being able to compose on demand was really frightening to me . . . I took a giant leap of faith and decided I would give [film composing] a try . . . And I just fell in love with it . . . when I write the right music for the picture, it's absolutely exhilarating and incomparable experience." --Howard quoted in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, January 16, 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Rosanna Arquette. Actor. Married on September 13, 1986 in California; divorced; Howard was her second husband.
companion:
Barbra Streisand. Actor, singer, director, producer. Together c. 1990-91.
wife:
Sofie Barron. Illustrator. Works in Geffen Records art department in Los Angeles; former girlfriend; became engaged after Howard broke up with Streisand.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Joseph William Howard. Born in 1953.
son:
Jackson Samuel Howard. Born May 17, 1994; mother, Sofie Barron.
son:
Hayden Barron Howard. Born on June 13, 1997; mother. Sofie Barron.

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