Patrick Doyle is a Scottish composer and, more sporadically, actor most associated with symphonic music for literary film adaptations, including many by actor/director Kenneth Branagh. An alumnus of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Doyle's first feature film was Branagh's own 1989 breakthrough with an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V. They soon reunited for films such as the 1991 thriller Dead Again, 1993's Much Ado About Nothing, and the following year's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In the meantime, Doyle found work on Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner Indochine from 1992, 1993's Carlito's Way, and the Alfonso Cuarón children's classic A Little Princess, released in 1995. Another film from that year, Emma Thompson's retelling of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, earned Doyle his first Academy Award nomination. He got a second nomination a year later for the Branagh's four-hour film version of Hamlet.
The two worked together again in the 2000s on Love's Labour's Lost, As You Like It, and, in a diversion from Shakespeare, 2007's Sleuth, an Anthony Shaffer play with a screenplay by Harold Pinter and direction by Branagh. Highlights of Doyle's other films during that time included Bridget Jones' Diary, Gosford Park, and the fourth installment in the blockbuster Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Back with Branagh again in the following decade, he scored 2011's Thor from the Marvel's Avengers universe. A year later, Doyle's work could be heard in the Disney/Pixar film Brave. Subsequent Branagh projects included a live TV broadcast of Macbeth with the National Theatre, and Walt Disney's Cinderella and Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, both released in 2015. The latter was broadcast live in movie theaters around the world and topped the day's box office in the U.K. Also that year, the composer released The Music of Patrick Doyle: Solo Piano, which offered newly recorded piano arrangements of his movie themes performed by Doyle himself. Still collaborating after over 25 years, the next Doyle-Branagh project was Murder on the Orient Express, a 2017 adaptation of the 1934 Agatha Christie novel. ~ Marcy Donelson