Born August 14, 1953 in Los Angeles, California, James Horner has become one of the most well-known and critically acclaimed film composer of the late-half of the twentieth century.

Horner's musical talents became apparent at age five, when he began studying piano under the instruction of Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti. He continued to learn at the Royal College of Music in London, and later earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Southern California, and a masters and Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory at UCLA.

Joining the American film Institute, he began to score music for low-budget motion pictures, and soon moved up to more mainstream films, the earliest of which include Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Cocoon, Commando, and many more.

Nominated for multiple Academy Awards, Horner's work spans from sweeping, majestic fanfares to understated, subtle chord progressions textured with ethnic instrumention that are finely tuned to match the dramatic nature of his films. His talent has not gone unnoticed, and much of his work has become almost legendary in modern film. His most celebrated scores include those for Titanic, Braveheart, and Apollo 13.

Editor's note: James Horner died June 22, 2015, in a plane crash. He was a pilot and was flying an Embraer turboprop aircraft which crashed near Los Angeles.