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Harry Gregson-Williams (1961)

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Harry Gregson-Williams is a prolific British composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer. He is best known for his film scores, of which he has composed over sixty using electronic music and orchestral pieces. He is also known for his collaborations with director Tony Scott, having scored all his films since the 1998 film Enemy of the State, and for composing video game scores for the Metal Gear Solid series. Gregson-Williams is one of the most recognized film score composers and a highly-respected film score composer for his musical style, combining electronic music with orchestral and classic music elements.


 life and career
Early in his career, Gregson-Williams held a position in the 1980s as a music teacher at the Amesbury School in Hindhead, Surrey, (his brother Rupert Gregson-Williams, also a film composer, also taught at Amesbury School during this period). Also, in the 1980s Harry was an estate agent for Palmer Snell in Wells, Somerset.

He later taught music at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he had been a pupil, and also for a short period in Egypt and other African states.

In addition to scoring a number of motion pictures including Kingdom of Heaven, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, The Rock, Shrek, Chicken Run, Antz, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Domino, and Team America: World Police, Gregson-Williams has also worked on the video games Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. His arrangement of the original Metal Gear Solid Main Theme was one of many works he created for the Metal Gear Solid productions that involved both orchestral and electronic textures.

In his score to the Ridley Scott film Kingdom of Heaven, he introduced a mix of Medieval and Renaissance polyphony with Middle Eastern themes. One track, Ibelin, was reprised as the closing credits theme with singer Natacha Atlas performing Arabic lyrics.

Gregson-Williams scored The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as the second instalment in the series, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Gregson-Williams also composed the soundtrack for the latest film in the X-Men film series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Gregson-Williams has also worked with the electronic music group Hybrid. In 2004, he produced a track called The Drop for Hybrid Present Y4K. He and Kirsty Hawkshaw worked with Hybrid on their 2006 album, I Choose Noise.

Gregson-Williams is a prominent member of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions along with John Powell, Lisa Gerrard, Trevor Rabin, Geoff Zanelli, Klaus Badelt, and Mark Mancina. During his first years in Media Ventures, he was mentored by Hans Zimmer and Nick Glennie-Smith with whom he is close. He is also good friends with fellow film composers and musicians Martin Tillman, Heitor Pereira, Klaus Badelt, John Powell , along with his musical assistants David Buckley, Stephen Barton, Welsh band Hybrid and producers and film directors Andrew Adamson and Tony Scott. He was a favourite of Hans Zimmer and considered as the most talented and prominent apprentice during his time in Media Ventures. Thanks to Zimmer's teachings and his own great creative ideas, Gregson-Williams began a close collaboration with Zimmer by making additional music and giving ideas for his music along of conducting many of his scores. Zimmer was so satisfied with the results that he decided to put Gregson-Williams in charge as conductor of both the orchestra and choir for many projects and became his protégé. Thanks to the experiences he shared with Zimmer, Gregson-Williams began mentoring several musicians such as Steve Jablonsky, Toby Chu, Stephen Barton, David Buckley and Marc Streitenfeld among others. He is also the first Media Ventures composer working in the video games industry and he stated that it was very different compared to his work but interesting and fun at same time. Now as an independent contractor he has his own studio called Wavecrest Music where he teaches and works with colleague musicians and music mixers such as:

  • Toby Chu
  • Stephen Barton
  • David Buckley
  • Halli Cauthery
  • Justin Caine Burnett
  • Meri Gavin
  • Peter DiStefano
  • Martin Tillman
  • Malcolm Luker
  • Alan Meyerson
  • Lisbeth Scott
  • Costa Kotselas
  • Anthony Lledo
  • Hugh Marsh
  • Ladd McIntosh
  • Christopher Willis

His most recent project was in the 2010 film The Town, directed by Ben Affleck which received widespread acclaim and extraordinary reviews for both story and original score. It was recently confirmed that Gregson-Williams will be composing the score of the upcoming film Cowboys & Aliens directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Ana de la Reguera and Harrison Ford. It was also announced that Gregson-Williams will be in charge of composing the score for the upcoming film The Night Stalker, a film version of author Philip Carlo's book about the 1980s serial killer Richard Ramirez. James Franco will star and direct the film. The film's date for release is 2012.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Harry Gregson-Williams", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.