Composer James Horner has died after being involved in a plane crash.
He died when his single engine Tucano plane crashed in the Los Padres National Forest in California.
James Roy Horner, was born in Los Angeles in the August of 1953. His Father Harry Horner was an Academy Award nominated production designer who worked in Hollywood, and at times would direct movies. James went to school in California and Arizona. He spent his early years in London where he studied at the Royal College of Music in Kensington. He continued to study music and completed his PHD at UCLA in the States. He was involved in the scoring of a number of shorts for the American Film Institute which he worked on during the mid to late 1970’s. His first film score proper was for the 1979 movie THE LADY IN RED, after this he began to write scores for a number of low budget movies that were produced by Roger Corman’s NEW WORLD PICTURES, which included one of his milestone scores for the sci-fi picture BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS in 1980.
It is probably true to say that it was this movie that gained the composer recognition amongst film music collectors and also a number of producers and directors. It was also on this assignment that Horner first came into contact with James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd who he would work with late in his career. It was in 1982 when Horner scored the sequel to STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE, STAR TREK ll~ THE WRATH OF KHAN that he established himself as an A list film composer and became much in demand. It was the way in which he scored movies in his early days that would endear him to many fans and peers alike, at times scoring low budget movies with grand symphonic works that overflowed with melodies and themes and it was this style of scoring that was to establish him further as one of Hollywood’s greatest composers.
The 1980,s and 1990,s were particularly fruitful for Horner, the composer creating emotive, exciting and dramatic soundtracks for movies such as FIELD OF DREAMS,GLORY, RED HEAT, BRAINSTORM, GORKY PARK, 48 HOURS, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, THE PELICAN BREIF, AN AMERICAN TAIL, APOLLO 13,KRULL,THE ROCKETEER, COCOON, BRAVEHEART,LEGENDS OF THE FALL, ALIENS, WILLOW and his double Oscar winning music and song for TITANIC to name but a few. The latter still remaining one of the biggest selling film soundtracks of all time. In recent years Horner has scored his fair share of box office hits, THE PERFECT STORM, THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN, THE KARATE KID, A BEAUTIFUL MIND,HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, and AVATAR. The composer was nominated ten times for an Oscar, and also was the winner of two Golden Globe awards and six Grammy awards.
Horner’s musical skills were not confined to film and he also wrote a number of classical pieces as well as providing hits for artists such as Diana Ross, Charlotte Church, Linda Ronstadt, Faith Hill and Tina Arena. His other passion away from music was flying and he combined his love of both music and flying by composing a piece for THE HORSEMAN P51 Aerobatic Team of which he was a member. Horner gained a reputation for being a perfectionist and chameleon like in his approach to scoring movies, being able to adapt and create a unique style and sound for the many films he scored. He worked with a number of directors these included, Ron Howard, Walter hill, Jean Jacques Annaud, Mel Gibson, Joe Johnston, Wes Craven, Oliver Stone, Roger Spottiswood, Nicholas Meyer, Douglas Trumbull, Michael Apted, Leonard Nimoy, Don Bluth, Norman Jewison, and James Cameron. He worked on 150 movies, his final offering being SOUTHPAW which will be released in July 2015. James Horner’s contribution to the world of film music is immense, staggering, enormous and enriching, beautiful and emotive. He will be missed so much, rest in peace Maestro.