Moving effortlessly from drama to sharp satire to period classics to animation, THOMAS NEWMAN (Composer) is building on an amazing family tradition in Hollywood, with a varied body of work that has earned the praise of filmmakers ranging from Robert Altman to Gillian Armstrong. To date, Newman has received eight Academy Award® nominations for his film work: he was the only double nominee in 1994’s Oscar race, receiving nominations for both “Little Women” and “The Shawshank Redemption,” and he has since received nominations for his scores from “Unstrung Heroes,” “American Beauty,” “Road to Perdition,” “Finding Nemo,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” and most recently, “The Good German.” Newman also won an Emmy Award® for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music for HBO’s award-winning drama “Six Feet Under.”
Since the beginning of sound film, the Newman name has been an integral part of the evolution of film scoring. Newman is the youngest son of the legendary Alfred Newman, a nine-time Academy Award® winner and 45-time nominee, who as musical director of 20th Century Fox from the mid-30s to the early 60s was responsible for overseeing or composing all of the music created for more than 200 films. Uncle Lionel was a composer and studio music director with more than 50 scores to his credit, and uncle Emil was also a conductor with more than four dozen film score credits. Sister Maria is an acclaimed concert violinist, brother David has scored more than 60 films, and cousin Randy is a much-beloved pop songwriter and film composer who scored Pixar’s first four features.
Newman studied composition and orchestration at USC, completing his academic work at Yale. His greatest mentor, Broadway's Stephen Sondheim was deeply impressed with Newman's originality and championed one of his earliest works, the musical theater piece “Three Mean Fairy Tales,” which received a workshop production courtesy of the Stuart Ostrow Foundation.
Newman also won the support of a young New York casting agent, Scott Rudin, who brought Newman aboard director James Foley's 1984 film “Reckless” as a musical assistant. Newman's initiative on the project soon elevated him to the position of composer, and at age 29 he had successfully scored his first film.
Newman's reputation for originality and for intensifying mood and character grew rapidly with such films as “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “The Lost Boys,” “Scent of a Woman,” “Citizen Cohn,” and more than 40 other major titles, including “Meet Joe Black,” “The Horse Whisperer,” “Up Close and Personal,” “Phenomenon,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” “In the Bedroom,” “Pay It Forward,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Red Corner,” “How to Make an American Quilt,” “The Green Mile,” “Jarhead,” “Cinderella Man,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” and more recently, “Little Children” and “Towelhead.” Newman also composed the music for HBO’s acclaimed six-hour miniseries “Angels in America,” directed by Mike Nichols. He was commissioned to create a unique seven-minute symphonic piece, “Reach Forth Our Hands,” for the city of Cleveland commemorating their bicentennial in 1996.