August 21, 1945|
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
November 8, 2006 (aged 61)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Instruments||Piano, orchestra, synthesizer|
Basil Poledouris (//; August 21, 1945 – November 8, 2006) was a Greek-American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of film and television scores, best known for his long-running collaborations with directors John Milius and Paul Verhoeven. His best known works include music for films like Conan the Barbarian (1982), Red Dawn (1984), RoboCop (1987), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Free Willy (1993), and Starship Troopers (1997). Poledouris won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special for his work on the four-part miniseries Lonesome Dove in 1989, and was a four-time recipient of the BMI Film Music Award.
Life and career
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he credited two influences with guiding him towards music: the first was composer Miklós Rózsa; the second his own Greek Orthodox heritage. Poledouris was raised in the Church, and he used to sit in services enthralled by the choir's sound. At the age of seven, Poledouris began piano lessons, and after high school graduation, he enrolled at the University of Southern California to study both filmmaking and music. Several short films to which he contributed are still kept in the university's archives. At USC, Poledouris met movie directors John Milius and Randal Kleiser, with whom he would later collaborate as a music composer. He appeared as a background extra in several episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. In 1985, Poledouris wrote the music for Paul Verhoeven's Flesh & Blood, establishing a durable collaboration.
Poledouris became renowned for his powerfully epic style of orchestral composition and his intricate thematic designs. He scored the soundtrack for The Blue Lagoon (1980; dir: Kleiser); Conan the Barbarian (1982; dir: Milius); Conan the Destroyer (1984); Red Dawn (1984; dir: Milius), Iron Eagle (1986); RoboCop (1987; dir: Verhoeven); The Hunt for Red October (1990); Quigley Down Under (1990 Simon Wincer); Free Willy (1993) and its first sequel Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995); Starship Troopers (1997; dir: Verhoeven); and For Love of the Game (1999).
Poledouris' studio, "Blowtorch Flats", was located in Venice, California, and was a professional mixing facility specializing in film and media production.
Poledouris married his wife Bobbie in 1969; they had two daughters, Zoë and Alexis. His elder daughter, Zoë Poledouris, is an actress and film composer, who occasionally collaborated with her father in composing film soundtracks.
Soundtrack's main theme, composed by Basil Poledouris.
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In 1996, Poledouris, alongside James Horner, composed "The Tradition of the Games" for the Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony that accompanied the memorable dance tribute to the athletes and goddesses of victory of the ancient Greek Olympics using silhouette imagery.
Awards & nominations
- Winner Best Score for Miniseries – Emmy Awards (Lonesome Dove)
- Nominee Best Score – Saturn Awards (Conan the Barbarian)
- Winner Special Recognition Music Award – BMI Film & TV Awards (Olympic Tribute for "The Tradition of the Games")
- Winner Film Music Award – BMI Awards (Free Willy)
- Winner Film Music Award – BMI Awards (The Hunt for Red October)
- Winner TV Music Award – BMI Awards (Lonesome Dove)
- Winner Film Music Award – BMI Awards (RoboCop)
- 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (Opening Ceremony)
- Conan Sword & Sorcery Spectacular (Universal Studios' live stage show)
- American Journeys (A Circle-Vision 360° film at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom)
- Flyers (IMAX)
- Behold Hawaii (IMAX)
- Rhodes, S. Mark. "A Sprig of Basil: The Musical Mastery of Basil Poledouris Archived October 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.." Film Score Monthly, Volume 9, Number 4, 2004.
- "Basil Poledouris". Memory Alpha. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- Basil Poledouris. "1996 Olympics Opening Ceremony – Honor and Glory CD Audio". Basil Poledouris website. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- "Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games opening ceremony via Youtube (video)". CBC TV via YouTube. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- "Basil Poledouris Biography". Basil Poledouris website. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- "Basil Poledouris 1945 – 2006." Basil Poledouris Message Board, 8 November 2006.