James Newton Howard (born June 9, 1951) is an American composer best known for his scores to motion pictures. He is one of the most popular and respected composers for cinema, and has scored over 100 films. The recipient of eight Academy Award nominations, some of Howard's best known film scores include The Prince of Tides (1991), The Fugitive (1993), Dinosaur (2000), King Kong (2005), I Am Legend (2007), and, most recently Green Lantern (2011) and The Hunger Games (2012). He is also known for his collaboration with director M. Night Shyamalan, having scored all his films since The Sixth Sense (1999).
Howard was born in Los Angeles, California. Twenty-five years after the death of his father, Howard learned that his father's family was Jewish (Howard later became a practicing Reconstructionist Jew).
Throughout his career as a composer/musician/songwriter, he has scored films of all scales and genres, earning multiple award nominations for his work. Howard began studying music as a child and went on to attend the Thacher School in Ojai, California, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and then majored in piano performance at the University of Southern California.
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