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James Horner (14 August 195322 June 2015; age 61) was an Academy Award-winning composer who wrote and conducted the music score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. His work on the former was his first score for a high-profile motion picture.

He also appeared in a small cameo role in The Wrath of Khan as an enlisted trainee.

Horner is best known for his scores for Braveheart (1995), Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009).

His work on The Wrath of Khan earned Horner in retrospect an IFMCA Award nomination in the category Best New Release/Re-Release of an Existing Score on the occasion of the 2009 release of the remastered version of the movie, which he shared with Producer Lukas Kendall.

His music from The Wrath of Khan can also be heard in the US theatrical trailer for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, as well as in the Star Trek: Lower Decks episodes "Crisis Point" and "Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus".

Horner was asked by director Nicholas Meyer to write the music score for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, however, he turned down the offer, claiming his career has "moved past Star Trek".

Career outside Star Trek[]

Born in Los Angeles, California, Horner studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London, England. He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Southern California, followed by a masters degree and a doctorate from UCLA. After scoring student films for the American Film Institute, Horner entered a career in film scoring.

Horner began his career composing film scores for several B-movie pictures produced by Roger Corman including Battle Beyond the Stars (1980, with Morgan Woodward, Earl Boen, and Jeff Corey), as well as low-profile horror movies such as The Hand (1981, with Bruce McGill and Tracey Walter), Wolfen (1981, with Roy Brocksmith), and Deadly Blessing (1981, with Michael Berryman, Lawrence Montaigne, and Percy Rodriguez). His breakthrough work was his score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which opened whole new opportunities for the budding film composer. In the years to follow, Horner was assigned to work on films with a wider mass appeal. Since then, Horner collaborated primarily with acclaimed directors Ron Howard (brother of Clint Howard) and James Cameron.

In 1987, Horner earned his first of many Oscar nominations in the category Best Music, Original Score for his work on Aliens (1981, featuring Jenette Goldstein, Mark Rolston, and Daniel Kash). He also shared a nomination in the Original Song category that same year for co-writing "Somewhere Out There", the theme for An American Tail (which featured the voices of Christopher Plummer, Nehemiah Persoff, and a young Phillip Glasser). Horner went on to earn an Oscar nomination for his scoring of the 1989 film Field of Dreams.

In 1996, he was nominated twice in the same category (Best Music, Original Dramatic Score) for his work on Apollo 13 (with Clint Howard, Max Grodénchik, Brian Markinson, Steve Rankin, and John Wheeler) and Braveheart. In 1998, he received two more Oscar nominations for scoring Titanic (1997, with David Warner, Victor Garber, Michael Ensign, Jenette Goldstein, Shay Duffin, and Greg Ellis) and writing the music for the film's song "My Heart Will Go On" – winning both. He went on to earn Oscar nominations for his work on Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind (2001, with Christopher Plummer and Anthony Rapp, written by Akiva Goldsman), and House of Sand and Fog (2003, with Shohreh Aghdashloo, Al Rodrigo, Spencer Garrett, Bonita Friedericy, and Michael Papajohn).

Among the many other film scores which Horner composed are 48 Hrs. (1982, with Jonathan Banks, Margot Rose, Denise Crosby, and Nick Dimitri), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983, with Vidal Peterson), Krull (1983, starring Kenneth Marshall), Brainstorm (1983, with Louise Fletcher, directed and produced by Douglas Trumbull), Cocoon (1985, with Herta Ware and Clint Howard), Willow (1988), The Land Before Time (1988, with the voices of Bill Erwin and Frank Welker), Glory (1989, with Bob Gunton, Cliff DeYoung, Richard Riehle, Ethan Phillips, and Mark Margolis), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989, starring Matt Frewer and Amy O'Neill, with Mark L. Taylor, Carl Steven, and Frank Welker, photographed by Hiro Narita), The Rocketeer (1991, with Paul Sorvino, Terry O'Quinn, Ed Lauter, Max Grodénchik, Clint Howard, William Boyett, Darryl Henriques, and Merritt Yohnka), An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991, with the voices of Nehemiah Persoff and Ralph Maurer), Patriot Games (1992, with Bob Gunton), The Pelican Brief (1993, with James B. Sikking, Jake Weber, and Casey Biggs), Legends of the Fall (1994, with Kenneth Welsh), Clear and Present Danger (1994, with Harris Yulin, Raymond Cruz, Ann Magnuson, Reg E. Cathey, Vaughn Armstrong, Michael Jace, and Cameron Thor), Ransom (1996, with Paul Guilfoyle and Henry Kingi, Jr.), Courage Under Fire (1996, with Tim Ransom, Ken Jenkins, and Bruce McGill), The Mask of Zorro (1998, with Tony Amendola and Victor Rivers), Deep Impact (1998, with James Cromwell, Mark Moses, Denise Crosby, Tucker Smallwood, Ellen Bry, Kurtwood Smith, and Concetta Tomei), The Perfect Storm (2000, with Bob Gunton and Christopher McDonald), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, with Bill Irwin, Clint Howard, Deep Roy, Landry Allbright, and Frank Welker), Enemy at the Gates (2001), The Missing (2003, with Clint Howard), Troy (2004, starring Eric Bana), Flightplan (2005, with Lois Hall), The New World (2005, starring Christopher Plummer, with John Savage), Apocalypto (2006), and The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008, with the voice of Ron Perlman).

In 2009, Horner earned two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Original Score – Motion Picture and for Best Original Song – Motion Picture ("I See You"), both for his work on Avatar, which starred Zoë Saldana. [1] In 2010, he received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Music for Avatar. [2]

Horner died when his small plane crashed on 22 June 2015. [3]

External links[]