Howard Leslie Shore is a name that is respected and admired all over the film industry today. He is a music composer from Canada. Born on October 18, 1946 in Toronto, Shore has produced a massive collection of film scores. His most famous work is the scores he produced for The Lord of the Rings series. Just on that one project he was awarded with three Academy awards. One of those was for “Into the West”, the original song for the series. This award was shared with Annie Lennox, lead vocalist of Eurythmics.
Shore started to study music when he was only 8 or 9 years old. He kept on learning instruments and was playing in bands by 13-14 years of age. By the time he was 17 he made a decision to pursue music as a lifelong career. In his early teenage years Shore also became friends with Lorne Michaels, a friendship that would have a noticeable influence on his music career. After he graduated from Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, Shore went to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music.
Shore was a part of a Jazz Fusion band for named Lighthouse for about 3 years (1969-1972). In 1970, Shore was given the position of music director for The Hart & Lorne Traffic Hour, a TV program by Lorne Michaels and Hart Pomerantz. The shows didn’t last long though. In 1974, he also composed the music used in Spellbound, a magic show by Canadian magician named Doug Henning. After that, from the years 1975-1980, Shore worked as the musical director for Saturday Night Live, a highly successful late-night comedy show presented on NBC by Lorne Michaels where Shore appeared in several musical sketches.
Howard Shore started composing for films in 1979, starting with The Brood, the first major film by David Cronenberg. Since then, Shore composed for all of Cronenberg’s films released in the future. The only Cronenberg film he didn’t compose for is The Dead Zone (1983). His first score for a non-Cronenberg film was for After Hours, a film by Martin Scorsese that was released in 1985. In 1986, he composed for Cronenberg’s film The Fly and then in 1988 he created the music for Penny Marshall’s Big, which had Tom Hanks starring in it. His next big composition was for Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs (1991) in which Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster starred. This song got Shore his first nomination for BAFTA. This film also received the five biggest Academy Awards, making Shore the only composer alive to have scored for an Oscar winning “Top Five” film.
Through the years he continued working for several Hollywood movies which include Philadelphia, the 1993 film which got Tom Hanks his first ever Oscar Award, 1995 film Seven,starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks’ first film That Thing You Do! (1996).
In 2001, Shore got his career’s biggest success by composing for the first film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Having never done anything on this big a scale before, the huge success of the film got Shore his first Oscar Award. He also won a Grammy and got nominated for both Golden Globe and BAFTA. His second Oscar was a shared win with Annie Lennox for the song “Into the West”.
Howard Shore has continues to compose for many famous films until this day. He received four Academy Award nominations and six Golden globe nominations and won three from both. The list of his achievements and awards is too long, proving him to be a truly one of a kind composer.