Alan Silvestri

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Alan Silvestri
Silvestri in 2009
Silvestri in 2009
Background information
Birth nameAlan Anthony Silvestri
Born (1950-03-26) March 26, 1950 (age 72)
New York City, U.S.
GenresFilm score, contemporary classical, jazz, ambient
Occupation(s)Composer, conductor
Years active1972–present Edit this at Wikidata

Alan Anthony Silvestri (born March 26, 1950) is an American composer and conductor of film and television scores. He has been associated with director Robert Zemeckis since 1984, composing music for all of his feature films including the Back to the Future film series, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Cast Away and The Polar Express. Silvestri also composed many other popular movies, including Predator, The Abyss, Father of the Bride, The Bodyguard, The Parent Trap, Stuart Little, The Mummy Returns, Lilo & Stitch, Night at the Museum, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Ready Player One and several Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including the Avengers films.

He is a two-time Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee, and a three-time Saturn Award and two-time Primetime Emmy Award recipient.

Early life and education[edit]

Silvestri's grandparents emigrated in 1909 from the Italian town of Castell'Alfero, and settled in Teaneck, New Jersey.[1] He grew up in Teaneck,[2] and graduated in 1968 from Teaneck High School.[3] He attended Berklee College of Music for two years. He was a drummer for a short time in 1966 with Teaneck-based rock band The Wildcats.


Silvestri moved to Los Angeles in 1970. "I came to Hollywood in 1970 broke...I didn't even have any goals or plans. I didn't even go to movies. And I knew nothing about composers or composing," he said.[4] In 1972, while he was working intermittently as a session guitarist, the producer of the low-budget action film The Doberman Gang asked him to score the picture. Silvestri agreed, despite a lack of experience: "I went out and bought a how-to-compose book by Earl Hagen... At one point I was using beer cans for percussion."[4]

From 1978 to 1983, Silvestri was the main composer for the television series CHiPs, writing music for 95 of the show's 139 episodes.

Silvestri met film director Robert Zemeckis when they worked together on Zemeckis's film Romancing the Stone (1984). Since then, he has composed the music for all of Zemeckis's movies, including the Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Death Becomes Her (1992), Forrest Gump (1994), Contact (1997), Cast Away (2000), The Polar Express (2004), Beowulf (2007), A Christmas Carol (2009), Flight (2012) and The Walk (2015).

In 1989, Silvestri composed the score for the James Cameron-directed film The Abyss. Since 2001, he has also collaborated regularly with director Stephen Sommers, scoring the films The Mummy Returns (2001), Van Helsing (2004) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009).

Silvestri has composed the scores for four Marvel Cinematic Universe films: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). His themes and motifs from those films have been referenced and reprised by other composers in multiple other MCU films.

Silvestri has also composed music for television series, including T. J. Hooker (one episode), Starsky & Hutch (three episodes), Tales from the Crypt (seven episodes). In 2014, he composed the award-winning music for the science documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. He wrote new songs with Glen Ballard for the live-action film adaptation of Disney's Pinocchio.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Silvestri and his wife Sandra own a vineyard, Silvestri Vineyards, in Carmel Valley, California.[6] He also has a wine tasting room for his vineyards on the ground floor of the Enchanted Oaks Building.[7] He has a daughter and two sons. A licensed pilot, he flies his own jet aircraft.[8]


Silvestri has received two Academy Award nominations: Best Original Score for Forrest Gump (1994); and Best Original Song for "Believe" on The Polar Express soundtrack. He also received two Golden Globe nominations: Best Score for Forrest Gump and Best Song for The Polar Express.

Silvestri received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1995.[9]

He has also received nine Grammy Award nominations, winning two awards: Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for "Believe" from The Polar Express in 2004; and Best Instrumental Composition for "Cast Away End Credits" from Cast Away in 2002. His other nominations were for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special and Best Instrumental Composition, for Back to the Future in 1985, Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television, for Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988, Best Instrumental Composition, for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit Suite" in 1989, Best Pop Instrumental Performance, for "I'm Forrest...Forrest Gump (The Feather Theme)" in 1994, Best Instrumental Composition, for Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media, for Avengers: Endgame in 2019.[10] During the 2005 Grammy Awards, Josh Groban performed "Believe".

He has won two Emmys, both for Cosmos: A Spacetime OdysseyOutstanding Main Title Theme Music and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for the episode "Standing Up in the Milky Way".

He has won the Saturn Award for Best Music three times, for his scores for Predator (1987), Back to the Future Part III (1989/90) and Van Helsing (2004).

On September 23, 2011, he received the Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award from the City of Vienna the yearly film-music gala concert Hollywood in Vienna.


Film - 1970s and 1980s[edit]

Year Title Notes
1972 The Doberman Gang With Bradford Craig
1975 Las Vegas Lady
1976 The Amazing Dobermans
1978 The Fifth Floor
1983 Tiger Man Credited as Alan Sylvestri
1984 Romancing the Stone
Par où t'es rentré ? On t'a pas vu sortir
1985 Fandango
Cat's Eye
Back to the Future
Summer Rental
1986 The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Delta Force
American Anthem
Flight of the Navigator
No Mercy
1987 Critical Condition
Outrageous Fortune Won - BMI Film Music Award
1988 Mac and Me
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
My Stepmother Is an Alien
1989 She's Out of Control
The Abyss Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Music
Back to the Future Part II Won - BMI Film Music Award

Film - 1990s[edit]

Year Title Notes
1990 Downtown
Back to the Future Part III
Young Guns II Themes by Anthony Marinelli and Brian Banks
Predator 2 Also conductor.
1991 Shattered
Back to the Future: The Ride Film in simulator ride
Soapdish Also orchestrator
Dutch Also pianist
Ricochet Also conductor
Father of the Bride Won - BMI Film Music Award
1992 Two-Fisted Tales
Segment: Yellow
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
FernGully: The Last Rainforest Silvestri's first score for an animated film
Death Becomes Her Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Music
Diner Short film
The Bodyguard Won - BMI Film Music Award
1993 In Search of the Obelisk IMAX film
Cop and a Half
Super Mario Bros. Replaced Jerry Goldsmith
Judgment Night Also conductor
Grumpy Old Men Won - BMI Film Music Award
1994 Clean Slate
Forrest Gump
Blown Away Also conductor
Richie Rich
1995 The Quick and the Dead
The Perez Family
Judge Dredd
Father of the Bride Part II Won - BMI Film Music Award
Grumpier Old Men
1996 Sgt. Bilko Also conductor
The Long Kiss Goodnight Also conductor
1997 Fools Rush In
Volcano Also conductor
Mouse Hunt
1998 The Odd Couple II Also conductor
The Parent Trap
Holy Man
Practical Magic
1999 Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box
Stuart Little

Film - 2000s[edit]

Year Title Notes
2000 Reindeer Games Also conductor
Cast Away
What Lies Beneath
What Women Want Also conductor and orchestrator
2001 The Mexican Also conductor and orchestrator
The Mummy Returns
Serendipity Also conductor
2002 Showtime Also conductor and orchestrator
Lilo & Stitch
Stuart Little 2 Also conductor
Maid in Manhattan
2003 Identity
Stitch! The Movie Themes only. Score composed by Michael Tavera
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life
Two Soldiers
  • Short film
  • Also conductor
2004 Van Helsing
The Polar Express
2006 The Wild Also conductor
Night at the Museum
2007 Beowulf
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Also conductor
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Also conductor and orchestrator
G.I. Joe: The Invasion of Cobra Island
A Christmas Carol Also lyricist, conductor and orchestrator

Film - 2010s[edit]

Year Title Notes
2010 The A-Team
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger
2012 The Avengers Also conductor and orchestrator
2013 The Croods Also conductor and orchestrator
RED 2 Themes by Christophe Beck
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Themes only. Score composed by Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman
The Walk
Doc Brown Saves the World Back To the Future series
2016 Allied
2018 Ready Player One Replaced John Williams
Avengers: Infinity War Score composer only. Score orchestrated and conducted by Mark Graham
"Black Panther Theme" by Ludwig Göransson
Welcome to Marwen Also conductor
2019 Avengers: Endgame Score conducted with Mark Graham
"Ant-Man Theme" by Christophe Beck
"Doctor Strange Theme" by Michael Giacchino
"Captain Marvel Theme" by Pinar Toprak
Nominated — Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Film - 2020s[edit]

Year Title Notes
2020 The Witches Also conductor
2022 Pinocchio Also lyricist, conductor and orchestrator

Television series[edit]

Year Title Notes
1978–1979 Starsky & Hutch
  • Episodes:
  • "Deckwatch"
  • "Starsky's Brother"
  • "Sweet Revenge"
1978–1983 CHiPs 95 episodes
1983 Manimal
  • Episodes:
  • "Night of the Beast"
  • "Breath of the Dragon"
  • "Scrimshaw"
  • "High Stakes"
  • "Female of the Species"
T. J. Hooker Episode: "A Child Is Missing"
1986 Amazing Stories Episode: "Go to the Head of Class"
1989–1995 Tales from the Crypt
  • Episodes:
  • "And All Through the House"
  • "Abra Cadaver"
  • "Yellow"
  • "Beauty Rest"
  • "House of Horror"
  • "Till Death Do We Part"
  • "You, Murderer"
2014 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
2020 Cosmos: Possible Worlds

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Meredith May, "Alan Silvestri pairs music with wine", SFGate (June 7, 2013).
  2. ^ Subscribe to Ali A ASCAP Henry Mancini Award, ASCAP. Accessed October 21, 2008. Manhattan-born and Teaneck, New Jersey-bred, Silvestri attended Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music before joining a Las Vegas band as a guitarist."
  3. ^ Coutros, Evonne. "The Drummer Whom Gump Marches To", The Record (Bergen County), March 26, 1995. Accessed October 21, 2008. "Nearly three decades after Alan Silvestri drummed out beats for the Teaneck High School band, he's hoping to march to the podium Monday night to collect an Oscar."
  4. ^ a b Stanley, John (November 9, 1986). "Composer Hits a High Note 'Overnight'". The San Francisco Examiner. p. Datebook 21.
  5. ^ Shuler, Skyler (December 11, 2020). "Exclusive: Alan Silvestri to Compose Disney+'s 'Pinocchio' With Glen Ballard Writing New Songs". TheDisInsider. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Retrieved on May 2, 2012.
  7. ^ Dramov, Alissandra (2019). Historic Buildings of Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. Arcadia Publishing. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. p. 63. ISBN 9781467103039. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "ALAN SILVESTRI COMPOSER OF MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES by D'Lynn Waldron, PhD". Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Clint Eastwood Honored by Berklee for Contributions to Jazz - Soundtrack.Net".
  10. ^ "Alan Silvestri". November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.

External links[edit]