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Film Composers: Thomas Newman


Thomas Newman composer

Continuing with my favourite film composers from a few weeks back, todays choice is the brilliant Thomas Newman.


I’ve always loved music and I’ve always loved films. I was brought up with both, so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’d love music composed for films.

Music has to have something though. It has to have something that provokes a feeling or emotion. That’s what Thomas Newman’s music does for me.


With an award winning career spanning five decades, Newman has composed music for some of the most well known movies of recent times.

He frequently works with director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and has composed the score to seven of his films, most recently the World War I drama 1917 (2019). Other notable works include: The Lost Boys (1987), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), American Beauty (1999) and Finding Nemo (2003).


Interestingly, Thomas Newman comes from a large family of successful composers.

In 1933 his father Alfred Newman composed the 20th Century Fox fanfare theme that we hear at the beginning of every 20th Century Fox film (you know, the one with the drums and the trumpets). As well as his father, his brother, sister and his two uncles are also composers and his cousin is none other than Randy Newman who you’ll know for writing and performing the song “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” for Disney’s Toy Story (1995).


Thomas Newman’s music has made a lot of great films that we all love, that bit greater.


And just because it’s so iconic, here’s a history of the 20th Century Fox fanfare theme composed by Alfred Newman.


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