James Newton Howard
|Born||June 9, 1951|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
James Newton Howard (born June 9, 1951) is an American film composer, music producer and keyboardist. He has scored over 100 films and is the recipient of a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, and nine nominations for Academy Awards. His film scores include Pretty Woman (1990), The Fugitive (1993), Space Jam (1996), Dinosaur (2000), Peter Pan (2003), King Kong (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) which he composed with Hans Zimmer, The Hunger Games (2012), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), and Jungle Cruise (2021). He has collaborated extensively with directors M. Night Shyamalan and Francis Lawrence, having scored eight of Shyamalan's films since The Sixth Sense (1999) and all of Lawrence's films since I Am Legend (2007). He even worked on other frequent scores with for other directors Edward Zwick, Michael Hoffman, P.J. Hogan, Andrew Davis, Lawrence Kasdan, Joe Johnston, Taylor Hackford, Ivan Reitman, and Joel Schumacher.
Early life and career
Howard was born in Los Angeles. He is from a musical family; his grandmother was a violinist. His father was Jewish but he did not want his children to know he was, so he changed his last name from Horowitz to Howard.
Howard began studying music as a child, taking classical piano lessons at the age of four. 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. He then attended the University of Southern California, studying at the School of Music as a piano performance major, but dropped out after 6 weeks because "He wanted to do other things than practicing the piano."
After Howard left college, he joined a short-lived rock band called Mama Lion. The band was led by Neil Merryweather (bass, backing vocals) and featured lead singer Lynn Carey, Coffi Hall on drums, and Rick Gaxiola on guitar. Mama Lion recorded two full-length albums. Members of Mama Lion also formed the band Heavy Cruiser with Merryweather now on lead vocals, recording two albums whose genre was closer to hard rock but also displayed psychedelic and progressive influences. He then worked for a couple of years as a session musician with artists including Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, and Harry Nilsson. In the early 70s, he described himself as being "dirt poor", until his big break in 1975 when his manager got him an audition with Elton John. He joined John's band and toured with them as keyboardist during the late 70s and early 80s. He was part of the band that played Central Park, New York, on September 13, 1980. Howard also arranged strings for several of John's songs during this period including the hits "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", and played additional keyboards and synthesizers on studio albums including Rock of the Westies (1975), Blue Moves (1976), 21 at 33 (1980), and The Fox (1981).
In 1982, Howard was featured on Toto IV as the strings conductor and orchestrator for "I Won't Hold You Back", "Afraid of Love", and "Lovers in the Night". In 1984 the Sheffield Lab direct-to-disc album James Newton Howard and Friends, was released, which featured Toto's David Paich (keyboards), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), Jeff Porcaro (drums), and Joe Porcaro (percussion).
In 1983, Howard was co-producer, musician (keyboards), and orchestrator of Riccardo Cocciante's album Sincerità. He also created five arrangements for the album "Aznavour '83" by Charles Aznavour, which was recorded in California.
After briefly touring with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, he took an opportunity brought to him by his manager to write a score for a film. This career move would lead to his becoming a successful film music composer. During this early foray into film music, he did not entirely abandon his previous musical path and returned for a brief collaboration with Elton John on his Tour De Force of Australia in the fall of 1986. He conducted both his own and Paul Buckmaster's arrangements during the second half of the set, which focused on orchestrated performances of selected songs from the Elton John catalog.
Howard scored the surprise blockbuster romantic comedy Pretty Woman (1990) and received his first Academy Award nomination for his score for Barbra Streisand's drama The Prince of Tides (1991). Setting the musical mood for numerous films throughout the decade, Howard's skills encompassed a plethora of genres, including four more best original score Oscar nominations, for the Harrison Ford action feature The Fugitive (1993), the Julia Roberts romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), M. Night Shyamalan's The Village (2004), and Michael Clayton (2007). In addition, Howard scored the Western epic Wyatt Earp (1994), Kevin Costner's Waterworld (1995), and Primal Fear (1996). His collaborations on songs for One Fine Day (1996) and Junior (1994) garnered Oscar nominations for Best Song. Along with scoring small-scaled, independent films such as Five Corners (1988), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), and American Heart (1993), Howard proved equally skilled at composing for big-budget Hollywood spectacles, including Space Jam (1996), Dante's Peak (1997) (theme only – score was composed by John Frizzell), and Collateral (2004). He has also scored four Disney animated feature films: Dinosaur (2000), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Treasure Planet (2002), and Raya and the Last Dragon (2021). Although he concentrates primarily on films, Howard has also contributed music for TV, earning an Emmy nomination in 1995 for his theme to NBC's ratings smash ER (Howard also scored the two-hour pilot); he also provided the themes for The Sentinel and Gideon's Crossing, winning an Emmy for the latter.
He has scored many of Shyamalan's suspense thrillers, The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), and The Last Airbender (2010), notably dropping the intense, yet subtle, opening credit music for The Sixth Sense from the corresponding soundtrack album.
On October 14, 2005, Howard replaced Howard Shore as composer for King Kong, due to "differing creative aspirations for the score" between Shore and director Peter Jackson. The resultant score earned Howard his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. His work on Michael Clayton earned him an Oscar nomination. He followed in 2008 with his eighth Oscar nomination for Edward Zwick's Defiance. He also collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the scores for Batman Begins and its record-breaking sequel The Dark Knight.
Further works were The Happening, his sixth film with M. Night Shyamalan, Blood Diamond, Michael Clayton, The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, I Am Legend, Charlie Wilson's War, and Shyamalan's film adaptation of the Nickelodeon series Avatar: the Last Airbender.
Howard debuted his work for symphony orchestra, I Would Plant A Tree, in February 2009 as part of the Pacific Symphony's annual American Composers Festival. The debut took place at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, California, with the Symphony under the direction of Carl St.Clair.
After being replaced in later seasons, his original theme song for the hit TV show ER returned for the final episode of the series.
From 2012 to 2015, James Newton Howard scored the music for the critically acclaimed Hunger Games franchise.
From 2014 to 2015, Howard saw major success with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 when he composed the score for the movie, which included "The Hanging Tree", featuring vocals from actress Jennifer Lawrence. The song peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the highest-charting single from The Hunger Games movies and both Howard's and Lawrence's first chart single.
Howard composed the score for the fantasy drama Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spin-off/prequel of the Harry Potter film series, and for its sequels, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
On March 23–24, 2019, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra gave the world premiere of Howard's Concerto for Cello & Orchestra with LACO principal cello Andrew Shulman as the soloist. The Los Angeles Times described the work as having "an elegiac tone, along with thematic material from the beginning and closing titles of Red Sparrow" the score of which Howard was working on while first composing the concerto.
When delving into his family history, twenty-five years after the death of his father, Howard learned that his father was Jewish (the family's original surname was Horowitz). Although raised Protestant, Howard later became a practicing Reconstructionist Jew after learning that his father was Jewish.
James Newton Howard was married to Rosanna Arquette in 1986, they divorced one year later. From 1989 to 1991, he was in a relationship with Barbra Streisand. In 1992, he married Sophie Howard and they have two children: Jackson and Hayden.
|1974||Goodnight Vienna||Ringo Starr||Synthesizer for "Snookeroo"|
|Rock 'n' Roll Survivors||Fanny||Synthesizer and clavinet|
|James Newton Howard|
|1975||Playing Possum||Carly Simon||Electric piano and synthesizer for "Look Me in the Eyes"|
|He Don't Like You, Like I Love You||Tony Orlando and Dawn||Keyboards|
|Melissa||Melissa Manchester||Electric piano, clavinet, ARP synthesizer, organ, piano, celeste keyboards|
|It's in Everyone of Us||David Pomeranz||Electric piano and synthesizer for "The Hit Song of All Time" and "If You Walked Away"|
Synthesizer for "Flying" and "Greyhound Mary"
|Rock of the Westies||Elton John||Clavinet, ARP synthesizer, Elka Synthex, harpsichord, Mellotron, electric piano|
|1976||...That's the Way It Is||Harry Nilsson||Keyboards|
|Blue Moves||Elton John||Conductor/arrangement for "Tonight", "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", and "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)"|
Co-writer for "One Horse Town" and "The Wide-Eyed and Laughing"
Synthesizer, electric piano, organ, Mellotron
|The Faragher Brothers||The Faragher Brothers||ARP synthesizer for "Never Get Your Love Behind Me"|
|Help Is on the Way||Melissa Manchester||String arrangement for "Be Somebody", "Help Is on the Way", "Dirty Work", and "There's More Where That Came From"|
Electric piano for "Be Somebody"
|The Movies||The Movies||Synthesizer on "Satellite Touchdown"|
|Endless Flight||Leo Sayer||Synthesizer on "Reflections" and "When I Need You"|
|Better Days & Happy Endings||Melissa Manchester||ARP synthesizer|
|Beautiful Noise||Neil Diamond||ARP synthesizer on "If You Know What I Mean", "Home Is a Wounded Heart", and "Jungletime"|
|Something New||Barbi Benton||Keyboards|
|1977||Kiki Dee||Kiki Dee||Piano for all tracks except "Standing Room Only" and "First Thing in the Morning, Last Thing at Night"|
Writer for "Sweet Creation"
Arrangement for "Sweet Creation", "Night Hours", and "In Return"
ARP synthesizer for "Sweet Creation" and "Standing Room Only"
Mellotron for "Into Eternity"
Organ for "Standing Room Only", "Keep Right On", and "In Return"
Electric piano and strings for "Night Hours"
|1978||Wild Child||Valerie Carter||Producer, various keyboards,
co-writer (Taking the Long Way Home, Lady In The Dark)
|1980||Black Rose||Black Rose / Cher||Producer of the album, co-writer of the song (and first single) "Never Should've Started".|
|1982||Toto IV||Toto||Orchestral arrangements and Conductor on "I Won't Hold You Back", "It's a Feeling", "Afraid of Love" and "Lovers in the Night".|
|1983||James Newton Howard and Friends||James Newton Howard
David Paich (keyboards)
Steve Porcaro (keyboards)
Jeff Porcaro (drums)
Joe Porcaro (percussion)
|Recorded live, direct-to-disc|
|In Your Eyes||George Benson||Co-producer, co-writer, keyboards, synthesizer and string arrangements on "Lady Love Me (One More Time) with David Paich|
|Allies||Crosby, Stills & Nash||keyboards|
|What A Feelin'||Irene Cara||Producer and keyboards on "You Were Made For Me"|
|Stompin' at the Savoy||Chaka Khan||Additional keyboards and synthesizer on "Ain't Nobody"|
|1984||I Feel for You||Chaka Khan||Producer and co-writer with David "Hawk" Wolinski on "Hold Her", keyboards, synthesizer|
|20/20||George Benson||Co-writer of "Please Don't Walk Away" with Steve Lukather, keyboards, synthesizer, string arrangements|
|Emotion||Barbra Streisand||keyboards, string arrangements on "Clear Sailing"|
|Solid||Ashford & Simpson||Producer, keyboards and drum programming on "Closest to Love"|
|1100 Bel Air Place||Julio Iglesias||keyboards|
|Isolation||Toto||Orchestral arrangements on "How Does it Feel" and "Change of Heart".|
|1985||Eaten Alive||Diana Ross||keyboards|
|Anywhere You Go||David Pack||Producer on "Prove Me Wrong", keyboards, synthesizer, string arrangements|
|The Magazine||Rickie Lee Jones||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer, string arrangements|
|Perspective||America||synthesizer on "(It's Like You) Never Left At All" with Randy Kerber|
|Behind the Sun||Eric Clapton||Producer, synthesizer on "Something's Happening"|
|1986||East of Midnight||Gordon Lightfoot||keyboards, synthesizer, arrangements|
|Abstract Emotions||Randy Crawford||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer on "Don't Wanna Be Normal"|
|1987||Flash In Japan||Eikichi Yazawa||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer|
|Collaboration||George Benson & Earl Klugh||synthesizer on "Since You're Gone"|
|1988||The Seventh One||Toto||String arrangements on "Anna".|
|The Rumour||Olivia Newton-John||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming on "The Rumour"|
|Land of Dreams||Randy Newman||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer|
|Soul Searchin'||Glenn Frey||Producer and co-writer of "Two Hearts" with David "Hawk" Wolinski|
|1989||Somebody Loves You||Paul Anka||Additional keyboards, synth horns on "A Steel Guitar and A Glass of Wine"|
|Vonda Shepard||Vonda Shepard||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer, co-writer of "Baby, Don't You Break My Heart Slow"|
|Larger than Life||Jody Watley||Co-writer of "Everything" with Gardner Cole|
|Can't Escape the Rhythm||Gregory Hines||Producer and co-writer with Glen Ballard|
|1990||To Be Continued...||Elton John||keyboards, synthesizer and string arrangements on "Made for Me"|
|Simple Mission||Glass Tiger||string arrangements on "Where Did Our Love Go"|
|1991||It's Your Life||Gardner Cole||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer|
|The Fire Inside||Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band||Synthesizer and strings on "The Real Love"|
|1992||Start the Car||Jude Cole||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer|
|The Radical Light||Vonda Shepard||Synth string arrangements on "Clean Rain"|
|1994||Look What Love Has Done||Patty Smyth||Producer, keyboards, synthesizer|
|1995||One Clear Voice||Peter Cetera||Co-writer and keyboards on "The Lucky Ones"|
|A Spanner in the Works||Rod Stewart||Producer and keyboards on "Leave Virginia Alone"|
|Feel The Healing||Pamela Thum||Co-writer and synth strings on "The Other Side"|
|1996||If We Fall in Love Tonight||Rod Stewart||Producer (both tracks) and keyboards on "Sometimes When We Touch", co-writer of "For the First Time" with Allan Rich and Jud Friedman|
|1997||The Other Side||Wynonna Judd||Co-writer of "Why Now" with David Pack and Cliff Downs|
|The Heart of Chicago 1967–1997||Chicago||Producer, keyboards, string arrangements and co-writer of "Here in My Heart" with Glen Ballard|
Works as composer
|2020||News of the World||Paul Greengrass||Universal Pictures||Score album released by Back Lot Music, a division of Universal Studios Music LLLP|
|2021||Raya and the Last Dragon||Don Hall
Carlos López Estrada
|Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
|Jungle Cruise||Jaume Collet-Serra||Walt Disney Pictures||—|
|2022||Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore||David Yates||Warner Bros.||Hedwig's Theme by John Williams|
|2023||Pain Hustlers||David Yates||Netflix||Post-production|
|The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes||Francis Lawrence||Lionsgate||Post-production|
|1988||Go Toward the Light||Mike Robe||RHI Entertainment||Television film|
|1989||Men||Various||ABC||TV series pilot and theme|
|1990||The Image||Peter Werner||Home Box Office||Television film|
|Revealing Evidence: Stalking the Honolulu Strangler||Michael Seitzer||MCA Television Entertainment||Television film|
|Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture||Frank Pierson||Home Box Office
MCA Television Entertainment
|Descending Angel||Jeremy Kagan||Home Box Office||Television film|
|1992||A Private Matter||Joan Micklin Silver||Mirage Enterprises
Home Box Office
|2000 Malibu Road||Various||Spelling Television||TV series theme|
Warner Bros. Television
|TV series theme and pilot score|
Soundtrack released by Atlantic Records with Howard's theme in TV and complete versions
|1996||The Sentinel||Various||Paramount Network Television||TV series theme only; scores by Steve Porcaro and John M. Keane|
Soundtrack released by Sonic Images with Howard's theme in main and end title versions
|1998||From the Earth to the Moon||Various||Home Box Office||Score for part 6: "Mare Tranquilitatis"|
Soundtrack released by Epic Soundtrax with period pop songs and Michael Kamen's opening and closing theme music; no episode scores
|2000||Gideon's Crossing||Various||Heel and Toe Films
|TV series theme|
|2016||All the Way||Jay Roach||Amblin Entertainment
|2017||A Series of Unfortunate Events||Barry Sonnenfeld and Mark Palansky||Netflix
What is the Question?
Sonnenfeld Productions, Inc.
Scored 5 episodes
|2020||Emily in Paris||Various||Netflix
MTV Entertainment Studios
Darren Star Productions
|TV series theme|
|2022||Light & Magic||Lawrence Kasdan||Disney+
|Composed with Xander Rodzinski|
Original "Willow" Themes by James Horner
|2023||All the Light We Cannot See||Shawn Levy||Netflix
21 Laps Entertainment
|1996||Imagine Entertainment ID||Logo theme|
|2006||Sony Pictures Animation ID||Logo theme|
2010 Legendary Pictures ID Logo theme 2011 FilmDistrict ID Logo theme
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- "Pacificsymphony.org". Archived from the original on February 15, 2009.
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- [dead link]
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- Commentary track of Defiance, 42:10
- Fowler, Lilly (February 19, 2009). "Family Secret, Persistent Bias Inspire Soul of 'Defiance' Score". Jews and Oscars. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "A great morning to reflect, rejoice". The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
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- "James Newton Howard | Artist". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- "The Max Steiner Award". Hollywoodinvienna.com. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
- "48th Annual Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
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- "UNE VIE CACHÉE". Orange Studio (in French). Orange Studio. Archived from the original on June 23, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
bande originale : James Newton Howard
- "One Big Soul, The Terrence Malick Community". Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2019 – via Facebook.
- "James Newton Howard Scoring Disney's 'Raya and the Last Dragon'". filmmusicreporter.com. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- "James Newton Howard to Return for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3' | Film Music Reporter". Filmmusicreporter.com. Retrieved October 9, 2019.