November 19, 2003 by

Michael Kamen


Categories: Musicians

mkamen.jpgMichael Kamen, a Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated composer, died on Nov. 18 from an apparent heart attack. He was 55.
Born in New York City, Kamen learned to play the piano when he was two years old. While studying oboe at the Juilliard School, the musician formed a rock-classical fusion band called the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, which appeared in the first of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic.
Kamen’s early work centered on ballets for Alvin Ailey and the Joffrey Ballet. In the 1970s, he served as the musical director for David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” tour, then began writing film scores for Hollywood. He penned more than 80 compositions for motion pictures, including “Brazil,” “Highlander,” “The Iron Giant,” “What Dreams May Come,” “X-Men,” the “Lethal Weapon” and “Die Hard” movies and the upcoming Meg Ryan film, “Against the Ropes.”
Kamen collaborated with a wide range of artists, from the London Philharmonic to Aerosmith. He worked on the orchestral arrangements for Pink Floyd’s 1979 album, “The Wall,” and shared a Grammy in 2001 with Metallica for conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for the band’s song, “The Call of Ktulu.” Kamen also won a Grammy in 1996 for best instrumental arrangement with An American Symphony, which he derived from the movie, “Mr. Holland

14 Responses to Michael Kamen

  1. Amir Reza Talachian

    He will be missed by the MUSIC. Why are we used to miss good people at their best years. Why should all the foolish politicians or other bad guys live long lives, but MICHAEL KAMEN or other beloved and useful people not? SHAME ON YOU GOD…..

  2. Asha

    Loved the music, especially for Open Range. God calls souls when they have accomplished their purpose during this incarnation. Mr.Kamen certainly accomplished a lot! His talent was a blessing to the world. Asha

  3. Mikey

    Jeez!!!Im sad to hear of the death of Michael Kamen and sadder still that I only just heard the news!3 months late!(Im sorry)Im really bummed-out.I am a big fan,loving his Lethal Weapon scores, etc and the work he did with my favourite metal/rock band Metallica.Michael Kamen was a TRUE MASTER OF THE DRAMATIC & could make music so truly POIGNANT…a metal-fan could weep!Bye Dude….your music lives on.THANX for it ALL.

  4. Morgan

    I watched the Oscar’s last night (Australian time) and as they were doing the tribute to the people who had died over the past year, i nearly fainted when i saw Michael Kamen come on screen.
    Being a huge Metallica and Pink Floyd fan, and also a fan of the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon movies, i was shocked to know that one of the greatest composers of the 20th century had died.
    Many Metallica fans don’t understand how much talent is needed to write a score to songs such as Master of Puppets, For Whom The Bell Tolls and One.
    I say to them, “I’d like to see you try it!!”
    Another member of the Metallica family, lost too young.
    R.I.P Michael Kamen
    and of course Clifford Lee Burton.
    I know you’ll be jamming in heaven.

  5. James

    I just want to say, Rest In Peace Michael. You truly were an awesome composer of the 20th Century and part of the 21st Century. Your work with Metallica was simply inspiring. Your work was full of passion and life. You touched us all deeply with your melodies and the rhythms you created. May you Rest in Piece!!!! I too only found out 2 days ago that Michael Kamen had Recently passed. We are all truly at a loss. This man was truly one of a kind and will be sorely missed

  6. Vanghelis

    I feel really awfull learning these bad news right now, and I feel even worse knowing that only Kamen’s works are going to exist. Excellent mucisian! Rest in peace Michael Kamen.

  7. Nick

    He’s the reason I decided to become a movie composer. His work is so inspiring it makes me wanna cry every time I hear his music. I wish I will someday become 1/10 of the composer he is.
    a great loss.
    you will be missed.

  8. Nettie

    [quote]”He will be missed by the MUSIC. Why are we used to miss good people at their best years. Why should all the foolish politicians or other bad guys live long lives, but MICHAEL KAMEN or other beloved and useful people not? SHAME ON YOU GOD…..”[/quote]
    God always takes the good for himself. Why’d you think he took him son at aged 33?

  9. A. W. W. McLord

    He was one of the best music score compoiser I know. I love his best masterpiece “Everithing I do (I do It for You)” created with an other one of my favorite singer… Brian Adams…

  10. Tom

    He IS the reason I want to be a movie composer now, after hearing his majestic work in Mr Hollands Opus not to mention the cosmic depth of the Metallica S&M score. Unbelievable musical talent. What it would be like to have his musical artistry in my head just for one week. Michael, you are missed by many and by one – your determined apprentice.

  11. bill

    i had the honor of meeting michael at a small dinner party in the hamptons ny in the early ninetys, it was hosted by linda and tom i was with a friend cynthia, i was not into the music world that much and didnt really know much of michael but i do remember him as being warm and so unasuming, and he told a great story of ike and tina and a bout ike needing one of tina’s stockings and how mike described it as seeing the most beautiful leg he had ever seen. as i read about him its hard to believe that this talented accomplished person was that laid back nice individual. i will remember that night always. such a shame hes gone

  12. JimmyG

    I have just recently been composing some scores for a few projects. We watched Band of Brothers (again) and once I found out Michael Kamen wrote the score, I started researching him. What a tragic loss to the world… His talents are 1 in a billion.
    I am writing a tribute piece and will post it on my free downloads page when it’s done. Click my name for the link.
    Michael – You are sorely missed as you brought a light to this world that few ever do! :*(

  13. mark mcc

    I am so surprised that I find nothing in any attributes about this man voice. In 1971 a unknown band call New York Rock and Roll Ensemble came to Beaumont Texas and gave a concert. Naturally with this name everyone wondered who and what they played. To eveyones amazement, the and played great Rock and Roll combinding cello,oboes, guitars and drums.They were fantastics.The band had a singer named Michael Kamen who was unbeleivable, his voice on hard rock was great but on the songs like Beside You(which the music was used in What dreams may come)showed such compassion he lulled you into dreamland.If you haven’t heard this man’s voice you have been deprived go to Amazon and buy their music.

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