Family & Companions
A former lead singer and oboist with the famed 1960s chamber music group the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, Michael Kamen turned successful, prolific film and TV composer in the 1990s.
Kamen began his solo career composing music for the Joffrey Ballet and the La Scala Opera Company. He subsequently wrote for David Bowie, worked with Eric Clapton, Kate Bush and the Eurythmics, wrote his first film score for "The Next Man" (1970) and did the musical arrangements for "Pink Floyd, The Wall" (1982). He has worked with directors David Cronenberg ("The Dead Zone" 1983), Neil Jordan ("Mona Lisa" 1986) and Terry Gilliam ("Brazil," 1985; "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," 1988; "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," 1998) and composed the scores for such box-office champions as "Lethal Weapon" (1987; and its three sequels), "Die Hard" (1988; and its two sequels), "Licence to Kill" (1989), "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991) and "Don Juan DeMarco" (1995) and his most musically ambitious soundtrack, "Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995)--"An American Symphony" from the film earned Kamen a Grammy for best instrumental arrangement.
His later fare included the scores to many mainstream hits, including Disney's live action "101 Dalmatians" (1996), "X-Men" (2000), the western "Open Range" (2003) and the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998) and "Band of Brothers" (2001). he earned two Academy Award nominations for his collaborations with singer Brian Adams and producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange for the hit singles "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (which took home the Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television) and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" from "Don Juan DeMarco."
In addition to his film scores, Kamen's 1999 live album, S&M: Metallica With the San Francisco Symphony, Conducted by Michael Kamen, has sold more than 4 million copies; he wrote and directed the music for the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics; served as musical director for Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee at Buckingham Palace; and orchestrated, arranged and conducted a collaboration of the heavy metal band Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony. Kamen also brought Bob Dylan together with an orchestra at a temple in Japan in 1994, for which Kamen composed and conducted an overture for 350 performers.
In 1996 Kamen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that causes various disabilities, but he did not publicly reveal his illness until September 2003 when he was awarded the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award at a fund-raiser for the Southern California chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He died of an apparent heart attack just a short while later, in November 2003. At the time of his death Kamen was working on adapting the musical scores of "Don Juan DeMarco" and "Mr. Holland's Opus" into musical stage productions.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Music (TV Mini-Series)
Formed New York Rock Ensemble
First film credit for songs in "Zacariah"
Wrote first film score, "The Next Man"