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Howard Leslie Shore (born October 18, 1946) is a Canadianmarker composer. He was the first band leader on Saturday Night Live. He has composed the scores for over 40 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he won three Academy Awards. He is also a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979.

He is also a prolific composer of concert works; his first opera, The Fly, based on the plot (though not his score) of Cronenberg's 1986 film premiered at the Théâtre du Châteletmarker in Paris on .

Shore is a three-time winner of the Academy Award, and has also won two Golden Globe Award and four Grammy Awards.

He is the uncle of composer Ryan Shore.

Early life and career

Shore was born in Toronto, Canadamarker, the son of Bernice (née Ash) and Mac Shore. He studied music at Berklee College of Musicmarker in Bostonmarker after graduating from Forest Hill Collegiate Institutemarker. From 1969 to 1972, he performed with the group Lighthouse. In 1970 he was the music director of Lorne Michaels and Hart Pomerantz's short-lived TV program The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour. Shore wrote the music for Canadian magician Doug Henning's magical/musical Spellbound in 1974, and he was the musical director for Lorne Michaels' hugely influential late-night NBC comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1980, appearing in many musical sketches, including Howard Shore and His All-Nurse Band, and dressed as a beekeeper for a John Belushi/Dan Aykroyd performance of the Slim Harpo classic I'm a King Bee. Shore also suggested the name for The Blues Brothers to Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.


Shore has written the music for such various major film productions as the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, The Silence of the Lambs, Mrs. Doubtfire, Philadelphia, Ed Wood, Se7en, Dogma, High Fidelity, Panic Room, The Departed and The Aviator, the last of which earned him a Golden Globe. Since The Brood in 1979, he has been a consistent collaborator with David Cronenberg, scoring all his subsequent films except The Dead Zone (1983, scored by Michael Kamen). His score for Cronenberg's Naked Lunch is notable for his collaboration with famed avant-garde jazz musician Ornette Coleman.

The Lord of the Rings

Since 2004, he has toured the world conducting local orchestras in the performance of his new symphonic arrangement of his highly acclaimed Lord of the Rings scores. The new work is entitled The Lord of the Rings: Symphony in Six Movements. There are two movements for each of the movies, and an intermission between the second and third (or first and second, in some cases) movements. The concert presentation of the symphony also includes projected still images relating the music being performed to scenes from the films. Recently, however, Shore has been busy with other projects, leaving other conductors including Markus Huber, Alexander Mickelthwaite, and John Mauceri to lead the orchestras.April 24, 2008 marked the North American Live to Projection debut of Fellowship of the Ring, with the score performed live by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ludwig Wicki. Wicki also conducted the Filene Center Orchestra at the Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna, Virginia on May 21 and 22, 2008 in the U.S. premiere of the Fellowship of the Ring Live to Projection.

Shore will return to the themes of Middle-earth when he scores The Hobbit film duology, to be released in 2011 and 2012.

King Kong

Although Shore was originally commissioned to compose the soundtrack for King Kong (indeed, he had already recorded most of the music), he was later replaced by James Newton Howard due to "differing creative aspirations for the score" on his and the filmmakers' parts. This was a mutual agreement between himself and Peter Jackson.

Despite this, Shore has a cameo near the end of King Kong as the conductor of the pit orchestra in the theater.



Shore has received three Academy Award nominations, winning all of them, two for Best Original Music Score, for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). He also won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Into the West" from "Return of the King.

Shore has also received four Golden Globe nominations, winning two consecutive awards for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and The Aviator (2004), making him the first (and only) composer to have received consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Score. He also won three consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Score for each of the Lord of the Rings films, and received a second award in 2003 for the song "Into the West" from "Return of the King" in the category of Best Song. He has also received five BAFTA nominations, but has not won.

On June 11, 2007, Shore was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from York Universitymarker in Torontomarker for "his sweeping artistic vision".

Shore has also been honored with awards from The National Board of Review, Recording Academy Honors, The Broadcast Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, Genie Award, World Soundtrack Award, New York's Gotham Award, and The Saturn Award for Science Fiction.

Shore is the first recipient of the Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Science Fiction Feature Film for The Last Mimzy.


See also


  1. LA Opera's announcement of the operatic production
  2. IMDB
  4. Ain't It Cool News
  5. York University archives

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