With a trill of the flute or a crash of a symbol, the composer can dictate a scene, captivating the audience’s emotions. You may not know their names, they may not be in every magazine, but movies would not be the same without them.
John Williams: With 195 soundtracks and 117 awards under his baton, John Williams has become the picture of a successful film composer. He is known for his work for “Star Wars,” Harry Potter, “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws” and “Indiana Jones,” creating strong pieces that don’t lose their power amongst the grace. His music helps shape characters and scenes in a way that only music can; connecting just as much with the people in their movie theater chairs as the characters experiencing the action on screen.
Alexandre Desplat: An incredibly gifted French composer, Alexandre Desplat knows what music is right for each movie. He makes strong and authentic music, but is also very flexible in his style. He will go from the light, quirky, sounds of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Moonrise Kingdom” to the determined and empowering pieces of “The King’s Speech” and “Argo”. Although there are 171 credits to his name, there is no denying each song written and composed is magical, extending the movie beyond what’s seen.
Justin Hurwitz: “Whiplash," Oscar nominee for Best Score, would not have been the same without its innovative beats and melodies to connect each scene to the drama. “La La Land”, 2017 Oscar winner of Best Score, would have never succeeded without Hurwitz’s music adding to the heart of the musical. Although he is 31 and considered sort of green for composers, we know that his passion and understanding of music in movies makes him one to watch out for.
Hans Zimmer: You could list his 15 nominations or his six awards for his music, but nothing compares to when you listen to “Time” from “Inception,” all while watching the earth fold on Leo DiCaprio. Nothing compares to the rises and falls of “No Time For Caution” and feeling the immediacy and fear that every character is living. Hans Zimmer uses his music to add to the emotion of the piece. Not only does he make the audience sympathize with the characters, but he also makes us feel a part of the film, all with a string of notes and chords that mirror the mood. While other people may have more experience or awards, Hans Zimmer will always be the king of making the viewer feel.
“Time”- Hans Zimmer, “Inception”
“The Middle of the World”- Nicolas Britell, “Moonlight”
“The Smallest Piece”- Don Romer and Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe”- Alexandre Desplat, “Moonrise Kingdom” “Engagement Party”- Justin Hurwitz, “La La Land”
“Schindler's List Theme”- John Williams, “Schindler’s List”
“Feather Theme”- The O’Neill Brothers Group, “Forest Gump”
“Domestic Pressures”- Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
“The Imperial March”- John Williams, “The Empire Strikes Back”
We The Kings-Bottom Lounge-Chicago-March 9th-7:00pm
Panic! At the Disco-Allstate Arena-Rosemont-March 11th-7:00pm
Ariana Grande-United Center-Chicago-March 14th-7:30pm
The Orwells-Metro Smart Bar-Chicago-March 16th-7:30pm
Cold War Kids-Riviera Theatre-Chicago-March 18th-8:00pm
Judah and The Lion-House of Blues-Chicago-March 23rd-8:00pm
Regina Spektor-Chicago Theatre-Chicago-March 24th-7:30pm
Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey-United Center-Chicago-March 25th-7:00pm
Bon Jovi-United Center-Chicago-March 26th-7:30pm