Thomas Newman

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October 20, 1955 - Los Angeles, CA

Thomas Newman Quick Facts:

  • Thomas Newman has been nominated for twelve Academy Awards but has yet to win one.
  • Thomas Newman won a Grammy Award for composing the main theme of HBO's Six Feet Under.
  • Not only is his music used in film, during the 2000 and 2002 Summer and Winter Olympics, clips of his music from several movies were used during NBC's Olympian biographies.

Newman’s Family Background:

Thomas Newman comes from an extremely musical family. His father, Alfred Newman, composed the scores for the Battle of Midway, My Friend Flicka, Song of Bernadette, Gentleman's Agreement, All About Eve, and The Robe. His brother, David Newman, composed the music for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Cat in the Hat, Galaxy Quest and Ice Age. His uncle, Lionel Newman, won an Academy Award for his scoring of 1969's Hello, Dolly! His cousin, Randy Newman, composed the score for Monster's Ink.


Thomas Newman attended USC and studied composition and orchestration with Frederick Lesemann and noted film composer David Raskin. He studied privately with composer George Tremblay. Thomas completed his academic work at Yale and graduated with a masters degree in composition. He studied with Jacob Druckman, Bruce MacCombie, and Robert Moore.

Musical Style:

Once you've become familiar with Thomas Newman's work, it is very easy to distinguish his music, even if you have never heard the piece. He seamlessly blends orchestra with synthesized instruments, and instinctively adds elements of classical music, jazz, and popular music. Signatures of Thomas Newman's music are his use of tuned percussion, distinct melodies, and the use of piano in more somber moments.

Film Scores by Thomas Newman:

  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • The Iron Lady
  • The Help
  • Brothers
  • WALL-E
  • Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Road to Perdition
  • Erin Brockovich
  • American Beauty
  • Meet Joe Black
  • The Green Mile
  • The Horse Whisperer
  • Oscar and Lucinda
  • Phenomenon
  • The People vs. Larry Flint
  • Up Close and Personal
  • Unstrung Heroes
  • How to Make and American Quilt
  • Little Women
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Player
  • Scent of a Women
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • The Great Outdoors
  • The Lost Boys
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun
  • Desperately Seeking Susan
  • Reckless

Television Compositions

  • Six Feet Under
  • Angels in America