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James Horner Biography

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Birth Name: James Roy Horner
Born: 1953/08/14
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years Active: since 1979
Genres: Film Score

James Roy Horner was born on August 14, 1953 in Los Angeles and is a film score composer, and orchestra conductor. Horner is particularly drawn to traditional Irish and Scottish music, which he often incorporates into his film scores. Horner is probably best known for his 1997 orchestral score for the film, “Titanic,” which has become one of the best-selling film soundtracks of all time. Horner was raised both in and around the film industry and music: both of his parents were creative, with his father working as a set designer on feature films and occasionally directing. Horner began to play the piano at the age of five and his parents nurtured his musical talents; he went on to study music his whole life, receiving his doctorate at the University of California, and picking up work during the 1970s with the American Film Institute after he graduated. Horner also taught music theory at UCLA before changing career paths and embarking on film scoring.

Throughout Horner's prestigious career he has scored over 100 films, and worked with acclaimed directors, such as James Cameron and Ron Howard. Some of his most notable scores were: “Braveheart,” “Legends of the Fall,” “Aliens,” “Troy,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Avatar,” and of course “Titanic.” Horner's work has garnered two Academy Awards and ten Oscar nominations. Horner landed his first film score in 1979 for the film, “The Lady in Red.” From there the offers continued to come in, with his break-through job coming in 1982 with the film, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” which cemented Horner's status as a film score composer in Hollywood. The film “Aliens” earned Horner his first Academy Award nomination; going on to be nominated nine times since.

Horner's most successful film score came with the “Titanic” in 1997, exposing his name, and music, worldwide. 2009 saw Horner working with director James Cameron on the film “Avatar,” which went on to surpass the “Titanic” as the highest-grossing film of all time. Horner dedicated two years to developing his score for Avatar, refusing to work on any other films at the time as his sole focus was on creating the right feel for the movie.