Jerry Goldsmith

From Wind Repertory Project
Jerry Goldsmith

Biography

Jerrald King "Jerry" Goldsmith (10 February 1929, Los Angeles – 21 July 2004, Beverly Hills, Calif.) was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring.

Goldsmith's parents were Tessa (née Rappaport), a school teacher, and Morris Goldsmith, a structural engineer. He started playing piano at age six, but only "got serious" by the time he was eleven. At age thirteen, he studied piano privately with legendary concert pianist and educator Jakob Gimpel(whom Goldsmith would later employ to perform piano solos in his score to The Mephisto Waltz) and by the age of sixteen he was studying both theory and counterpoint under Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who also tutored such noteworthy composers and musicians as Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Herman Stein, André Previn, Marty Paich, and John Williams.

At age sixteen, Goldsmith saw the 1945 film Spellbound in theaters and was inspired by veteran composer Miklós Rózsa's soundtrack to pursue a career in music. Goldsmith later enrolled and attended the University of Southern California where he was able to attend courses by Rózsa, but dropped out in favor of a more "practical music program" at the Los Angeles City College. There he was able to coach singers, work as an assistant choral director, play piano accompaniment, and work as an assistant conductor.

He composed scores for such noteworthy films as The Sand Pebbles, Logan's Run, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Chinatown, The Wind and the Lion, The Omen, The Boys from Brazil, Night Crossing, Alien, Poltergeist, The Secret of NIMH, Gremlins, Hoosiers, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Rudy, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, Mulan, The Mummy, three Rambo films, and five Star Trek films. He was nominated for six Grammy Awards, nine Golden Globe Awards, four British Academy Film Awards, and eighteen Academy Awards. In 1976, he was awarded an Oscar for The Omen.

He collaborated with some of film history's most prolific directors, including Robert Wise (The Sand Pebbles, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), Howard Hawks (Rio Lobo), Otto Preminger (In Harm's Way), Joe Dante (the Gremlins films, The 'Burb, Small Soldiers), Roman Polanski (Chinatown), Ridley Scott (Alien, Legend), Steven Spielberg (Twilight Zone: The Movie), and Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Hollow Man). However, his most notable collaboration was arguably that of with Franklin J. Schaffner, for whom Goldsmith scored such films as Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, and The Boys from Brazil.


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