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James Newton Howard is an American composer who is best known for his scores to motion pictures and is one of the most popular and respected composers for cinema and has scored over 100 films. He is also known for his collaboration with director M. Night Shyamalan, having scored all his films since The Sixth Sense.

Howard was born in Los Angeles. He is from a musical family; his grandmother was the Pittsburgh Symphony's concertmaster and violinist during the 1930s and '40s. He went on to attend the Thacher School in Ojai, California and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California with Reginald Stewart and Leon Fleischer.

After working with various musicians and singers, Howard began scoring music for films, such as Pretty Woman, The Prince of Tides, The Fugitive, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Village, Michael Clayton, Wyatt Earp, Waterworld, Primal Fear, One Fine Day, Junior, Glengarry Glen Ross, Defiance, American Heart, Space Jam, Dante's Peak, I Am Legend, Collateral, Batman Begins, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Hunger Games movies.

He also wrote the theme music to ER, The Sentinel, Gideon's Crossing, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Filmography

Year Film Position Subsidiary
2000 Dinosaur Music Walt Disney Animation Studios
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire Original Score
2002 Treasure Planet
2011 Gnomeo & Juliet Touchstone Pictures
2014 Maleficent Music Walt Disney Pictures
2018 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
2019 A Hidden Life 20th Century Fox
2021 Raya and the Last Dragon Walt Disney Animation Studios
Jungle Cruise Walt Disney Pictures

Trivia

  • His instrumental piece "Flying" from Peter Pan (2003) was used in several Disney World commercials.