James Shearman

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James Shearman
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Shearman in 2014
Background information
Occupation(s)Conductor, orchestrator, composer

James Shearman is an English conductor, orchestrator and composer. He is recognised as a film score conductor and orchestrator who has contributed to over 70 film scores, from the critically acclaimed Shakespeare in Love (1998) Gosford Park (2001), Mansfield Park (1999) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) to blockbusters such as Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Thor (both 2011), Pixar's Brave (2012), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), Disney's Cinderella (2015) and more recently Disney's forthcoming Beauty and the Beast (2017). He has collaborated with many Academy Award for Best Original Score winning and/or nominated composers including Patrick Doyle, Elliot Goldenthal, Mark Isham, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Alan Menken, John Powell, Howard Shore and Hans Zimmer.

He is also a songwriter and producer of notable U.S platinum and gold selling classical crossover songs "Dream a Dream" (2000) and "Amici Forever" (2004). Shearman regularly conducts many leading orchestras, most notably the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Session Orchestra, the Hollywood Studio Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. As a Conductor he is increasingly active in the concert hall.

He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2004 for a significant contribution to the music profession and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2015.

Life and career[edit]

Shearman studied composition and arranging with Nick Ingman and conducting with Colin Metters and Denise Ham at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won the Eric Coates prize for light composition. In his final year of studies, as part of the Academy's annual music festival, he was commissioned to compose a piece honouring the career of legendary film composer John Williams. The piece was premiered to John Williams himself, by the Academy's symphony orchestra as part of the British Film Festival 1996.[1]

He assisted and co-orchestrated for TV and Film composers on projects such as the hit TV Series Cracker (1995), and films Othello (1995) and The Wind in the Willows (1996). Upon graduation from the Royal Academy of Music, Shearman was immediately hired to compose soundtracks for TV commercials, also supplying string arrangements and conducting for popular recording artists such as Gary Barlow (Twelve Months, Eleven Days, Album 1999),[2] Conner Reeves' Earthbound and Oasis.

1997 saw the beginning of what was to become a long-standing collaboration with Academy Award nominated composer Patrick Doyle. Shearman was asked to supply arrangements of Doyle's music for his score for Great Expectations (1998), directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The success of this led to him supplying further orchestral arrangements and orchestrations for Doyle's next movie, Quest for Camelot (1998),[3] where he worked on both the arrangements of songs for the movie, written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, and co-orchestrated Doyle's score along with Larry Ashmore (Doyle's long time orchestrator from 1989) at the 20th Century film studios in Los Angeles.

Shortly after returning from Los Angeles, Shearman was approached to compose his first feature film score, The Misadventures of Margaret (1998),[4] a romantic comedy directed by Brian Skeet and starring Parker Posey, Jeremy Northam and Brooke Shields. The film gave Shearman an opportunity to compose a quirky, melodic score, which he also orchestrated and conducted. The score was recorded by the London Session Orchestra at Air Lyndhurst Studios, London. Numerous contributions as orchestrator and/or conductor of film scores continued, most notably, Shakespeare in Love (1998) music by Stephen Warbeck, Les Misérables music by Basil Poledouris, Mansfield Park (1999) music by Lesley Barber, Lost Souls (2000) music by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) music by Patrick Doyle and Pearl Harbor music by Hans Zimmer.

In 2000 Shearman, along with long-term songwriting collaborator Sam Babenia, had notable commercial success as a songwriter, co-writing (with Simon Greenaway) "Dream a Dream"[5] for Charlotte Church. Based on the melody of Faure's Pavane, the song became the title track of the album and as of 5 December 2008 Dream a Dream had accumulated sales of 1,630,00 copies in the US alone, according to SoundScan, and certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[6] "Dream a Dream" also featured on the album Prelude, a 'best of' album by Charlotte Church, released in 2002. With Babenia, he also co-wrote, arranged and produced the song "Prayer in the Night" for Amici Forever, a band of four classically trained singers who mixed opera with pop music. "Prayer in the Night" became a much featured son of the album (The Opera Band) and was performed at the Classical BRIT Awards where it was nominated for 'Album of the Year' 2004.[7] Shearman collaborated with Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, conducting the epic symphony orchestra and choir backing for the platinum selling album Once (2004) and continuing this role on subsequent albums Dark Passion Play (2007), Imaginaerum (2011) and Endless Forms Most Beautiful (2015).

As a conductor, in 2004 Shearman made his début at Birmingham symphony hall with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducting a concert of music by Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman.

Throughout 2002 to 2006 Shearman continued to orchestrate and conduct film scores, most notably Calendar Girls (2003), Alfie (2004) music by John Powell, Nanny McPhee (2005) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005).[8] Additionally, Shearman conducted Mark Isham scores; The Black Dahlia (2006), In the Valley of Elah (2007)[9] and Reservation Road (2007). Further orchestrations of Doyle's scores included As You Like It (2006) Eragon (2006) The Last Legion (2007) and Kenneth Branagh's Sleuth (2007). After Larry Ashmore's retirement in 2007, Shearman and Doyle completed the orchestrations for all further Doyle scores largely alone.

Throughout 2005–2006, in addition to his film work, Shearman, together with Sam Babenia, wrote the book, songs and score for the musical Taj: The Story of the Inconsolable Emperor. In 2007 the musical went into pre-production with the Belgian theatre company Music Hall, though due to problems with the book and escalating stage production costs, work ceased and the production was put on hold. In 2008 Shearman collaborated with American Composer Paul Cantelon on the scores for the films The Other Boleyn Girl[10] and Oliver Stone’s W..[11] The soundtrack for The Other Boleyn Girl was nominated for best soundtrack at the 2009 Classic Brit Awards.

Shearman orchestrated and conducted two Doyle scores for 2011, notable blockbusters Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.[12] In addition to this he conducted Mark Isham’s score for Dolphin Tale (2011) and orchestrated and conducted Lesley Barber's score for The Moth Diaries (2011).

In 2012 he completed orchestrations and conducted the score for Pixar's Brave,[13] and arranged the Brave orchestral suite for Pixar in Concert, a concert featuring the films and music of Disney Pixar, premiered by the San Francisco symphony orchestra in July 2012.

Throughout 2013 to 2014 Shearman collaborated regularly with French film composer Eric Neveux, conducting the scores for a series of French films, notably Nicholas on Holiday (2014), Il était une forêt (2014), Le Grand Méchant Loup (2013) and the hit TV series Borgia (2013-2014). Additionally, he remained busy with Patrick Doyle, orchestrating and conducting the composer' scores for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), Enchanted Kingdom (2014), and Disney's Cinderella (2015). In 2014 Shearman also conducted and orchestrated the film score for How to Change the World (2015) music by Lesley Barber. Throughout this period Shearman became increasingly active in the concert hall, as guest conductor of the Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir (March 2014), the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Kuhn Choir of Prague (September 2014) and made his Royal Festival Hall (October 2014) debut as guest conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra as part of a series of four concerts throughout the UK in the same year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ British Film Festival 1996. http://www.d559658.u131.fluidhosting.com/.../a-special-evening-john-williams-...[dead link]
  2. ^ Twelve Months, Eleven Days. Album 1999). http://www.tasteofluxuryaz.com/iplaylist/album/525015/[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Quest for Camelot. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-quest-for-camelot
  4. ^ The Misadventures of Margaret http://wwwbfi.org.uk/sightandsound/review/110old[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Dream a Dream. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-dream-mn0001028077
  6. ^ certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. RIAA Searchable Database – Gold and Platinum Certifications Recording Industry Association of America
  7. ^ "Classical Brits glory for Terfel", subsection 'Opera band'. BBC News. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  8. ^ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/james-shearman-mn0001022975
  9. ^ In The Valley of Elah. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/james-shearman-mn0001022975
  10. ^ The Other Boleyn Girl. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/james-shearman-mn0001022975
  11. ^ Oliver Stone's W. W. | BFI | British Film Institute "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 March 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Rise of the Planet of the Apes. http://musicbehindthescreen.blogspot.com/2012/.../who-conducts-part-ii.ht..[permanent dead link].
  13. ^ Brave. Amazon.com: Brave: Various Artists, patrick Doyle, James Shearman: Music. https://www.amazon.com/Brave-Various-Artists/dp/BOO7XSFKAW

External links[edit]