Jerry Goldsmith Dies!

Famed composer of scores from The Planet of the Apes, Patton, Alien and of course the theme to Star Trek The Motion Picture and The Next Generation – Jerry Goldsmith has died in his sleep after a bout with cancer. He was 75.For more on his career, please continue… Summed up perfectly on Jerry Goldsmith Online -“Jerry Goldsmith grew up in Los Angeles and originally intended to become a concert hall composer but soon realised that the infrequency of concert hall commissions would never satisfy his hunger to write music, so looked to the world of mainstream entertainment. Jerry Goldsmith began studying piano at the age of 6 and by the age of 14 was studying composition, theory and counterpoint with Jacob Gimpel and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also became acquainted with legendary composer Miklos Rosza and attended his classes in film composition, at the University of Southern California. It was Rosza’s own score to Spellbound and the film’s star Ingrid Bergman, that had captivated Goldsmith back 1945 and clearly influenced the composer’s interest in music for film. In 1950 he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. There, he was given his first assignments as a composer for radio shows such as Romance and CBS Radio Workshop. He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored The Twilight Zone. Then was hired by Revue Studios to score their Thriller series, which lead on to further TV commissions including the famous Dr Kildare theme and theme and episodes from The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. In 1962 Goldsmith was awarded his first Oscar nomination for his acclaimed score to the poorly received John Huston Biopic of Freud. At the same time, he met and became acquainted with the influential film composer Alfred Newman. Newman, recognising Goldsmith’s talents, influenced Universal into hiring him to score the film Lonely Are The Brave in 1963. From there Goldsmith established himself as a contract composer for 20th Century Fox, quickly re-defining the modern film score. Along with his close friend Alex North, Goldsmith established himself as a leading name in American film music, and by the beginning of the 1970’s the composer had already written a number of landmarks scores that cemented his position and his reputation. These included A Patch Of Blue, Lilies Of The Field, The Sand Pebbles, The Planet Of The Apes, The Blue Max and Patton. During the 70’s Goldsmith augmented his movie scoring with a plethora of TV assignments and remains one of the few composers to juggle film and TV scoring successfully. This included the critically acclaimed and Emmy Winning score to the first TV epic QBVII as well as the popular theme for the TV series The Waltons. Hungry to work, the early part of the decade proved to be one of the composer’s most successful periods with a combination of gritty thrillers and prestigious assignments like The Wind And The Lion, Chinatown, The Wild Rovers and Papillon. The late 70’s brought Goldsmith his lone Oscar for the avant-garde and ground breaking score to The Omen. Never had a film score been so critical to the movie’s atmosphere and dramatic power. The decade finished with series of the composer’s most popular crowd pleasing scores from the militaria of The Swarm via grand caper scoring of The Great Train Robbery to the terrifying Alien and of course Goldsmith’s greatest work – Star Trek The Motion Picture. Here Goldsmith was tasked with re-inventing a franchise and creating a brand new theme. Goldsmith remarked that the theme was the toughest he ever wrote and remains a remarkable achievement. It later became the signature theme for the popular Star Trek TV spin off The Next Generation. Goldsmith would also go on to write the theme for a further Star Trek spin off, Star Trek Voyager.The 80’s brought the TV epic Masada in which the composer scored the first four hours and the rousing main theme. Handing the remaining four hours to friend and fellow composer Morton Stevens. The 80’s also saw a change in style, just as the 70’s had differed from the 60’s. From the robust and action packed First Blood and its exciting sequel scores, to the animated splendour of The Secret Of Nimh as well as critically acclaimed works Under Fire and Poltergeist. The mid 80’s proved to be a mix of comedy and adventure scoring for big budget fare that included a series of assignments for Joe Dante, most notably the box office smash Gremlins, to cult hits Supergirl and a rousing sequel score to Star Trek V. The 80’s also saw further electronic experimentation that had begun back in the 60’s. In 1985 the composer tackled his first all electronic score to Michael Crichton’s sci-fi thriller Runaway, and later followed it up with courtroom thriller Criminal Law. Goldsmith finally fused orchestra with electronics proper in the 90’s and remains one of the few silver age composers to put so much effort into the technology without betraying the orchestral world. In the 90’s Goldsmith started the decade with his action opus, Total Recall. Goldsmith’s mamoth score remains the definining moment in action scoring, and is now regarded as a classic of the genre. He also became friends with the film’s acclaimed director; Paul Verhoeven and went on to collaborate on the difficult assignment, Basic Instinct. The assignment remains a rare moment in the cut throat business of Hollywood where a director showed total commitment to his composer and worked closely with him to encourage Goldsmith to produce one of his most memorable scores. The decade also brought another of the composer’s finest works, the beautiful score to The Russia House for director Fred Schepisi along with further Star Trek sequels, action epics such as Air Force One and The Mummy as well as more challenging assignments such as Six Degrees Of Separation (Fred Schepisi) and the critically acclaimed LA Confidential (Curtis Hanson). “Jerry Goldsmith 1929-2004

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