On Thursday 3 November 2017 award winning composer James Newton Howard will present a concert of unforgettable music from three decades at the top of Hollywood’s film music game. Throughout his career, Howard has scored over 100 films of all genres, earning multiple award nominations for his work.
Discover Howard’s astounding career in five film soundtracks:
The Prince of Tides
Having started his career as a keyboardist in groups including Elton John’s backing band, Howard’s first movie break came when he was asked to play on the soundtrack of Steven Spielberg’s Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). Playing music composed by Jerry Goldsmith, this experience gave Howard his first taste of what it takes to write a blockbuster film score.
Two years after playing on the soundtrack to Twilight Zone: The Movie, Howard wrote his first full film score (Head Office, 1985), and in 1992 he received his first Academy Awards nomination for The Prince of Tides (1991), starring and directed by Barbra Streisand. With his strong connection to the pop world on display, Howard’s affable score was a hit with the judging panel and audience alike.
The Sixth Sense
In 1999, Howard worked with M. Night Shyamalan on the iconic director’s breakthrough suspense thriller The Sixth Sense. The two partners have worked together on all of Shyamalan’s subsequent work – Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), and The Last Airbender (2010).
With low volumes and an unsettled balance in tonality, Howard was able perfectly tonally match the Sixth Sense score with the action on the screen, lulling listeners into a feeling of false security, and ramping up the tension in the final scenes.
The Dark Knight
Having worked together on Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005), James Newton Howard teamed up with composer Hans Zimmer to write the score for The Dark Knight (2008), a soundtrack which garnered the pair a BAFTA Award nomination, as well as Grammy and Classical BRIT Award wins in 2009.
The dark, tense soundtrack was an immediate hit with film reviewers and audiences, and placed at number 50 on Classic FM’s Movie Music Chart 2015. Packed full of iconic moments, including the inspired Joker’s theme (a nine-minute suite based around two notes), the score was heralded ‘a stroke of genius’ by The Guardian.
The Hunger Games
Between 2012-2015, Howard’s music reached a huge global audience as part of The Hunger Games franchise.
He composed The Hanging Tree song for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014), featuring vocals from lead actress Jennifer Lawrence – a song which became Howard’s first chart single, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
In 2016, you can hear James Newton Howard’s music as part of the highest-grossing motion picture series of all time – Harry Potter, when his score to prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is released.