James Newton Howard

  • Music

Jun 09, 1951  in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

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An eight-time Oscar nominee and a winner of the prestigious Grammy Award, James Newton Howard's musical genius has graced more than a hundred movies across all genres for the past four decades. A classically trained pianist, he started out by associating with several short-lived music bands in the early 1970s, and got his big break when he joined Elton John's band as a keyboardist and orchestrator. Subsequently, Howard made his debut as a film score composer with the satirical black comedy Head Office (1985).

The composer rose to prominence in the 1990s, landing his first Academy Award nomination in 1991 courtesy of the romantic drama The Prince of Tides. Howard went on to earn four more nominations in the course of the decade, for his work in the films The Fugitive (1993), Junior (1994), One Fine Day (1996) and My Best Friend's Wedding (1998). The blockbuster romantic comedy Pretty Woman (1990), the neo-noir crime-thriller Primal Fear (1996), the fantasy comedy Liar Liar (1997) and the supernatural horror film Sixth Sense (1999) were some of the other notable titles in his discography during this period.

In 2001, Howard won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music for the medical drama Gideon's Crossing. While the psychological horror film The Village (2004), the legal thriller Michael Clayton (2007) and Defiance (2008), earned the veteran musician three more Oscar nominations, it was his collaboration with Hans Zimmer for the superhero film The Dark Knight (2008) that won Howard the maiden Grammy Award of his career. Other significant titles in Howard's discography are King Kong (2005), Blood Diamond (2006), Charlie Wilson's War (2007) The Hunger Games film series (2012-2015) and Maleficent (2014).

Notable movie credits in recent times include the fantasy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016),the period crime drama Detroit (2017) and the spy thriller Red Sparrow (2018).