Don Davis (composer)

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For other persons, see Don Davis (disambiguation).
Don Davis
Born (1957-02-04) February 4, 1957 (age 57)
Anaheim, California, United States
Occupation Film composer

Donald Romain Davis (born February 4, 1957) is an American film score composer, conductor, and orchestrator. Best known for his work on The Matrix, he has worked on a variety of films, from horror to comedy.

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Anaheim, California. After graduating from high school, Davis enrolled at UCLA. He continued his study of musical composition with tutor Henri Lazarof. Additionally, he learned orchestration from Albert Harris. During their orchestration lessons, Harris introduced Davis to the TV composer Joe Harnell, who supported Davis during his search for work—his first job was working for composer Mark Snow's TV show Hart to Hart. He also worked as additional orchestrator for Michael Kamen on the film Die Hard 2.

Film and television scoring[edit]

Davis won Emmys in 1990 for Beauty and the Beast and 1995 for SeaQuest DSV. He wrote scores mostly for television series up until 1995, in which he wrote a few of the cues for the animated Disney motion picture A Goofy Movie. He continued to score television series until the two then young directors, the Wachowski brothers, hired him to score their neo-noir film Bound. It was reasonably successful at the box office. Bound was the film which led Davis into becoming the composer for the entire Matrix trilogy. Subsequently, Davis has composed scores for films such as Jurassic Park III (recommended to the filmmakers by John Williams, the composer of the scores for the first two films in the series), House on Haunted Hill, Behind Enemy Lines, and The Unsaid.

Davis' magnum opus is Matrix franchise: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and The Animatrix. It was set apart from other film scores of its time for its atonality and avant garde style of composition, with influences from polytonal minimalist works like John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine and cluster-like as well as aleatoric techniques prominent in the works of composer Witold Lutosławski.


Don's first opera, Río de Sangre, received its premiere at the Florentine Opera Company on October 22, 2010. Previously, excerpts from the opera were performed in Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Master Chorale on November 6, 2005, and the New York City Opera on May 13, 2007.

Select list of scores[edit]



External links[edit]