News Music composer James Newton Howard will be honored

Published: April 25, 2017| 02:21 PM

Music composer James Newton Howard, the author of music to legendary movies such as Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense, Batman Begins and all four parts of The Hunger Games will be a guest at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where he will receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema.

The public will be able to meet the respected composer during the Opening Ceremony concert in front of the Hotel Thermal. James will personally conduct a world premiere of the music from his latest movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

He is currently preparing for his first live concert tour. The 3 Decades of Music for Hollywood concert production will be a celebration of career highlights with music, spoken word and video.

Mr. Howard will conduct a symphony orchestra and choir comprising over 100 performers on stage through suites of recent as well as classic film hits. The composer will tell stories from his rich and wide-ranging experience, working on some of the most honored and successful movies ever made, with on-screen commentary from several of his long time Hollywood collaborators, along with clips and montages of stills from films. The tour will visit 20 of the biggest European cities in November 2017, with the premiere being held at the Royal Albert Hall on November 3rd 2017.  Among other cities, the live concerts can be seen later in November in Prague, Krakow, Warsaw and Budapest

One of the most versatile and respected composers currently working in film, James Newton Howard’s career spans over thirty years. He has composed music for over 120 films, including the Academy Award-nominated scores for Defiance, Michael Clayton, The Village, The Fugitive, The Prince of Tides, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Academy Award-nominated songs for Junior and One Fine Day. Howard also received Golden Globe nominations for his massive orchestral score for Peter Jackson’s blockbuster remake of King Kong, his provocative symphonic score for Defiance, and his songs from Junior and One Fine Day.

Howard won the 2009 Grammy Award for his co-score with Hans Zimmer for The Dark Knight, and received Grammy Award nominations for music from Blood Diamond and his song from One Fine Day.  

In addition, he won an Emmy for the theme to the Andre Braugher series Gideon’s Crossing, and received two additional Emmy nominations for the themes to the long-running Warner Bros. series ER and the Ving Rhames series Men.  In 2008, World Soundtrack Award named him Film Composer of the Year for his work on the films Charlie Wilson’s War, Michael Clayton and I Am Legend

His success reflects the experiences of a rich musical past.  Inspired by his grandmother, a classical violinist, he began his studies on the piano at age four.  After studying at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and at the USC School of Music as a piano performance major, he completed his formal education with orchestration study under legendary arranger Marty Paich.

Though his training was classical, he maintained an interest in rock and pop music, and it was his early work in the pop arena that allowed him to hone his talents as a musician, arranger, songwriter and producer.  He racked up a string of collaborations in the studio and on the road with some of pop’s biggest names, including Elton John; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Barbra Streisand; Earth, Wind and Fire; Bob Seger; Rod Stewart; Toto; Glenn Frey; Diana Ross; Carly Simon; Olivia Newton-John; Randy Newman; Rickie Lee Jones; and Chaka Khan.

In 1985, he was offered his first film, Head Office, and he quickly knew he had found his calling.  Since then, he has scored films such as all four installments of The Hunger Games, Concussion, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Maleficent, Nightcrawler, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Bourne Legacy, Salt, The Last Airbender, Water For Elephants, Gnomeo & Juliet, Batman Begins, Collateral, Snow Falling on Cedars, Outbreak, The Village, Hidalgo, Peter Pan, Wyatt Earp, Lady in the Water, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Freedomland, Treasure Planet, Signs, Falling Down, Primal Fear, Glengarry Glen Ross, Waterworld, The Devil’s Advocate, Dave, and Pretty Woman among many others.  In 2016 he composed the music for the prequel to Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was released in November.

In 2017 he is working on the scores for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Inner City with Denzel Washington, and Red Sparrow  with Jennifer Lawrence. 

In addition to his contributions to film and television music, Howard has composed two concert pieces for the Pacific Symphony. I Would Plant a Tree debuted in February 2009, and his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra premiered in March 2015, featuring renowned violinist James Ehnes. 

Howard has been honored with ASCAP’s prestigious Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as the 2016 BMI Lifetime Achievement Award.

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