Alan Silvestri

Of composer Alan Silvestri's many film scores, he is perhaps best-known for his work with director Robert Zemeckis, starting with their first movie project, Romancing the Stone, and continuing through the next decades with many more blockbuster classics. Silvestri began playing music at a young age while growing up in Teaneck, NJ, and was already considering a music career by the age of 15. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but after only two years moved out to Las Vegas and started touring with Wayne Cochran & the C.C. Riders. Silvestri became interested in arranging and ended up stranded in Los Angeles after a job opportunity for arranging fell through. He got his first break at around the age of 20, when he met Golden Globe and Oscar nominee lyricist Bradford Craig; through Craig, he got a job scoring the small film (with no previous scoring experience) The Doberman Gang (1972). After this, Silvestri worked on other low-budget movies until getting a steady job in 1977 scoring the television series ChiPs. After the show was canceled, Silvestri's career hit a dry period that ended when he teamed up with Zemeckis on a film that proved to be a big break for all involved: Romancing the Stone (1984). Silvestri and Zemeckis teamed up on many successful films in the coming years, including Back to the Future (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), and the number one box office hit Forrest Gump (1994). In the meantime, Silvestri scored many films outside of his work with Zemeckis, including Flight of the Navigator (1986), Predator (1987), The Abyss (1989), The Bodyguard (1992), The Quick and the Dead (1995), Stuart Little (1999), and many more. Some of Silvestri's music was released on CD, including the soundtracks for Richie Rich (1994), Father of the Bride, Pt, 2 (1995), and the compilation Voyages: The Film Music Journeys of Alan Silvestri.

He remained a highly in-demand screen composer into the next century, which saw him win a Grammy for the song "Believe" (co-written with Glen Ballard) from The Polar Express (2004) and Emmys for his work on the TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014). He also continued to collaborate with Zemeckis on films including Cast Away (2000), The Polar Express, Beowulf (2007), and the biopic about high-wire artist Philippe Petite, The Walk (2015). ~ Joslyn Layne

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