James Horner

MFA 1976

He proved that a film's defining character isn't always an actor.

Composer, orchestrator and conductor, James Horner is equally famous in the symphony house as he is in Hollywood. Horner came to UCLA to earn his master’s. Studying under Paul Chihara, among others, he found an environment where even something as established and hallowed as classical music wasn’t confined to set rules. This is evident in his orchestral style today, which is famous for incorporating choral, Celtic and electronic elements. Horner stayed at UCLA to teach music theory and went on to score over 100 films for directors such as James Cameron, Mel Gibson and Ron Howard. Titanic still remains the best-selling orchestral soundtrack of all time. He has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, taking home two.

How will you make the world listen?

Get involved with ucla
James Horner

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive engaging, educational and inspirational content in your inbox.