Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet the Newmans

The Newman family is possibly the most accomplished family in film scoring.  Their influences on film music are obvious.  It’s great to think that you could watch a movie from the 1930s to now, the Newman in the credits is most likely related.  Hopefully this will keep them all straight.    
From left - David, Randy and Thomas Newman
Alfred Newman (1901-1970)
Alfred Newman was musical director of 20th Century Fox, and continued scoring for Fox until 1960.  He wrote scores for over forty years, winning 9 Academy Awards.  His major scores include How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Song of Bernadette (1943), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), All About Eve (1950), The Robe (1953), How the West Was Won (1962) The scoring stage at 20th Century Fox is named the Newman Scoring Stage. 

Lionel Newman (1916-1989)

Alfred Newman’s brother also fell into film scoring.  He conducted under his brother and became Musical Director for Television in 1959.  He also composed several television themes for Fox.  He eventually became senior vice president of music for Fox films.  He conducted such films as Alien, Cleopatra and was music supervisor for Star Wars A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.  He won an Oscar for Hello Dolly in 1970 (Score of a Musical Picture).  Building #222 on the Fox lot (where his office was located) was named in his honor in 2013.  


Emil Newman (1911-1984)
Another brother of Alfred, Emil Newman spent most of his film career as a musical director and conductor.  Films he worked on include Laura (1944) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).  He composed more than 30 films in the 1940s-1950s.  He was nominated for an Oscar for Sun Valley Serenade in 1942 (Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture).

David Newman (1954-)
Son of Alfred and actress Martha Montgomery.  David has composed over 90 films including The Mighty Ducks (1992), Anastasia (1997), Galaxy Quest (1999), Ice Age (2002) and Serenity (2005).  In 1997 he re-recorded Alfred Newman’s 20th Century Fox Fanfare which is still used.  His wife is a scoring consultant for him.  David was nominated for an Oscar for Anastasia.    

Thomas Newman (1955-)
Son of Alfred and brother of David, Thomas has composed more than 80 films.  He brings his unique style to films like The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Green Mile (1999), American Beauty (1999), Finding Nemo (2003) and Wall-E (2008).  Thomas has been nominated for an Academy Award 10 times. 

Maria Newman (1962-)
Son of Alfred, brother to David and Thomas.  An accomplished violinist and violist, Maria performs in various ensembles and has composed several concert works.  She has performed on a few film scores as well. 

Randy Newman (1943-)
Nephew of Alfred/Emil/Lionel and uncle to David/Thomas/Maria.  In addition to his career as singer/songwriter, he is particularly known for his scores to Ragtime (1981), The Natural (1984), Avalon (1990), Toy Story (1995), Pleasantville (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Seabiscuit (2003), The Princess and the Frog (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010).  He has been nominated twenty times for an Academy Award, winning twice for Original Song. 

Joey Newman (1976-)
Grandson to Lionel Newman, Joey has worked as an orchestrator and conductor for many projects, including works by cousin Randy.  As a composer, he worked on television shows like Once and Again, Providence, Little People Big World and The Middle.

Jaclyn Newman-Dorn
Jaclyn is the granddaughter of Alfred and niece of Thomas.  She has worked as assistant music editor on films like Obsessed (2009),
Burlesque (2010), Priest (2011), and Horrible Bosses (2011).  She currently is a music supervisor for the Newman/Dorn Music Service.


Lionel Newman, left, with John Williams

2 comments:

  1. Once after hearing a concert conducted by David Newman, I turned to David Raksin and said "He is carrying on the tradition of the House of Newman," and David replied with a warm smile, "Long may it live!"

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  2. Why, oh why, wasn't the soundtrack of 'Firecreek' ever recorded? There's a classical guitar solo of the main theme which runs throughout the film which ranks with 'Sweet Breeze' from 'Heaven's Gate' for simple beauty. What happened to Alfred Newman's original score: was it lost and if not, couldn't it be resurrected? I truly wish Thomas Newman could find his grandfather's score, publish it and record it. It's a loss to movie buffs and soundtrack collectors everywhere.

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