Music is an integral part of any movie. A good score can elevate a movie from good to excellent, just as it can elevate a scene from memorable to iconic. Most movie soundtracks fall by the wayside and are generally ignored as they are simply intended to add extra “oomph” or excitement to a scene. These types of sheet music blend into the background and remain unforgettable.
But then there are movie soundtracks that take on a life of their own, not just elevating the material on screen, but demonstrating captivating listening in their own right. These are the composers of that kind of music, who are among the best for their collection of Oscars.
10 Dimitri Tiomkin – 14
Living between 1894 and 1979, Russian composer Dimitri Tiomkin moved to New York City after the Russian Revolution and back to Hollywood after the stock market crash of 1929. It was here that he became a famous composer of some of the most unique cowboy movies, earning himself 14 Academy Award nominations for Best Original Music.
He won three times, for the movies. Noon, The Tall and the Mighty, Y The old man and the sea. His final nomination came in 1972 for the Soviet film. Tchaikovsky.
9 Alex North – 14
American composer Alex North is quite unique in the history of the Academy. Throughout its long and illustrious career, it garnered 14 nominations for Best Original Score, but failed to win one.
Despite this, he was the first composer to receive an Honorary Academy Award, which won in 1985 “in recognition of his brilliant art in creating memorable music for a series of distinguished films”. These movies include Spartacus, Cleopatra, A Streetcar Named Desire, Y Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
8 Miklós Rózsa – 16
Born in Budapest, composer Miklós Rózsa became an American citizen in 1946 while working on the score of The thief of Baghdad. He composed the music for nearly 100 films and garnered 16 Oscar nominations for Best Original Score.
Three of these films earned him the award: 1945 Bewitched, From 1947 A double life, and the epic of 1959, Ben Hur, one of the longest American movies ever. Her win for the latter was one of 11 for the film, helping her set the record for the most Academy Awards won by a single film. Since then he has been bound by Titanic Y The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
7 Morris Stoloff – 17
Morris Stoloff was one of the first musicians to move from classical music to film scores, having been a child prodigy of the violin. He worked for both Paramount and Columbia, working closely with the composers of each individual film under the control of the distributors.
He earned 17 nominations for Best Original Music throughout his career, winning three times for Cover Girl, Jolson’s story, Y Endless song.
6 Young Victor – 17
Victor Young currently holds the Best Original Score record for getting the most nominations before actually winning, earning 17 nominations but never winning a single award in his lifetime. Unfortunately, Young passed away in 1956 from a brain hemorrhage.
It was not until 1957 that he posthumously won the award for Around the world in eighty days. Young also received eight nominations in two years, garnering four nominations each in 1940 and 1941. These were part of a stellar string of 13 consecutive nominations between 1940 and 1944, making him one of the best music composers for films by. all the times, though not always. ranked in the top 10.
5 Jerry Goldsmith – 17
Jerry Goldsmith, who garnered 17 nominations for best original score, worked with some of the best directors of his time, including Steven Spielberg, on some of his best films, Ridley Scott, Howard Hawks and Paul Verhoeven. Of those 17 nominations, The Omen proved his only victory.
Goldsmith is also one of only five composers to have more than one film on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years of Film Scores list, with Planet of the Apes placing in # 18 and Chinatown at 9.
4 Ray Heindorf – 17
Another old-school movie composer, Ray Heindorf worked exclusively with Warner Bros. for 40 years. During that time, he gained recognition for employing minority musicians for his scores and hiring them for Warner’s music department.
Heindorf is another composer who earned 17 nominations for Best Original Music throughout his career, winning three for Yankee Doodle Dandy, This is the army, Y The music man. The last two were back-to-back victories, making Heindorf the first film composer to win back-to-back awards for best original score.
3 Max Steiner – 24
Max Steiner, who directed his first operetta at just 12 years old, was considered a musical prodigy, and became one of the first full-time composers in the film industry after his move to Hollywood in 1929. He composed a staggering amount of 300 film soundtracks throughout his career and garnered 24 nominations for Best Original Score.
He is perhaps best known for scoring gone With the Wind, which ranked second on AFI’s 100-year list of movie soundtracks. Three of his nominations resulted in victories: The reporter, Now Voyager, Y Since you left.
two Alfred Newman – 43
Alfred Newman was another children’s music prodigy, composing more than 200 movie soundtracks over four decades of work. He also composed the fanfare accompanying the 20th Century Fox logo. Newman garnered an incredible 43 nominations for Best Original Score, winning nine.
This is the third highest number of Oscars ever won by a single person and the highest number ever won by a composer. Your score for How the West was won is arguably his most famous, ranking 25th on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores list.
1 John Williams – 47
Possibly the most famous film composer of all time, John Williams is an astonishing once-in-a-lifetime talent, and his very name has become an integral part of film history. Even people who do not know any film composer by name know the name of John Williams, such is the degree of his fame and talent.
He is the second most nominated individual in Oscar history (after Walt Disney), garnering 52 nominations. 47 of them were for Best Original Score, and their score for Star Wars It ranked first on AFI’s 100-Year List of Motion Picture Scores. He was also the first director or non-actor to win the AFI Life Achievement Award.
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