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James Newton Howard Biography

Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, United States
Profession
Composer, musician, songwriter, producer

Fast Facts

  • Father died when he was 10; 25 years later Howard discovered his family name had been Howeritz
  • It was later changed to Howard, possibly to conceal Jewish heritage
  • Grandmother was a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony
  • Trained in classical music, but spent much of the 1970s and 1980s in the rock-and-roll scene, first with a band called Mama Lion, then with a pair of solo albums, and ultimately for several years as a session musician for Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Eric Clapton and others
  • Joined Elton John's band on tour and in the studio in the mid-1970s, and later was the conductor for John's album Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1987)
  • Started scoring films in the 1980s, beginning with the 1985 comedy Head Office, starring Judge Reinhold and Eddie Albert
  • Wrote the Emmy-nominated theme to long-running NBC drama ER (1994-2009)

Awards

  • 2021Golden Globe-Best Original Score - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2020Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): nominated
  • 2020Critics' Choice Awards-Best Score: nominated
  • 2016Emmy-Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score): nominated
  • 2009BAFTA Film Awards-Best Music: nominated
  • 2009Golden Globe-Best Original Score - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2009Critics' Choice Awards-Best Composer: nominated
  • 2008Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): nominated
  • 2008Grammy-Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: winner
  • 2008Online Film Critics Association-Best Original Score: winner
  • 2008Las Vegas Film Critics Association-Best Score: winner
  • 2007Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): nominated
  • 2006Golden Globe-Best Original Score - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2005Online Film Critics Association-Best Score: nominated
  • 2004Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): nominated
  • 2001Emmy-Outstanding Main Title Theme Music: winner
  • 1997Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score): nominated
  • 1997Golden Globe-Best Original Song - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1996Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): nominated
  • 1995Golden Globe-Best Original Song - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1995Emmy-Outstanding Individual Achievement in Main Title Theme Music: nominated
  • 1994Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): nominated
  • 1993Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): nominated
  • 1991Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): nominated
  • 1989Emmy-Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music: nominated