A trend in journalism is generally defined by three or more happenings in the same field. So when I discovered that James Newton Howard (The Hunger Games) had written a cello concerto, Danny Elfman (Alice in Wonderland) a violin concerto and George S. Clinton (the Austin Powers movies) another violin concerto, I thought “here’s a trend” and decided to write a story. In fact, I discovered at least half a dozen concert works by composers generally known for their film music are getting premieres in the next six months — and that more than a half-dozen others had debuted in the past year, with still more on the way. It’s not just John Williams, it’s Michael Giacchino and John Powell and Bruce Broughton and Jeff Beal and many others. Here is that story for Variety.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many composers whose film and television work I have admired. I always loved the music that J.A.C. Redford wrote for St. Elsewhere, a show I never missed in the 1980s (and which I firmly believe is the greatest medical show in the history of television). Redford, who has in recent years orchestrated many scores for James Horner and Thomas Newman, is himself a distinguished composer of many choral and symphonic works. I was delighted that he asked me to write the notes for his latest collection of orchestral pieces.