Composer Conrad Pope is one of the most respected and trusted musicians working today in Hollywood.
That Pope is now emerging as one of the most exciting, original voices in contemporary film scoring, surprises no one who knows him or his work. Among his peers, Conrad is not only regarded as a “musician’s musician,” but he is also recognized as an imaginative musical dramatist, making him one of the most “in demand” scoring professionals. Composers such as John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Alan Silvestri, Howard Shore and Mark Isham have all called upon his expertise as a one of the industry’s top orchestrators as well as his abilities as a conductor and score producer.
Classically trained at some of the world’s finest music conservatories, he arrived in Hollywood with a commanding knowledge of all aspects of musical composition and performance. These abilities were immediately seized upon by the industry’s top musical professionals, leading to many arranging assignments of “source music” for diverse films, guiding him, ultimately, to the orchestrating and writing additional music for many major motion pictures. Conrad has contributed to the scores of more than a hundred films. The list of the many iconic films on which he has worked includes the Star Wars films (The Phantom Menace, The Attack of the Clones, The Revenge of the Sith) the Harry Potter series, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek-Nemesis, the Matrix films. Memoirs of a Geisha, Julie and Julia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, A Night at the Museum, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn , The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Godzilla.
Over his career, Pope has worked side by side with many of Hollywood’s finest directors, including Peter Jackson, Mark Romanek, Walter Murch, Scott Hicks, Gary Ross, Joe Johnston and Wes Anderson. His ability to work effectively with filmmakers and concretely translate their vision into music has made him a valued collaborator.
As such, he has scored numerous independent films. One of his recent original scores,
Penn &Teller’s TIM’S VERMEER, has garnered attention and praise from directors and critics alike. Awarded the International Film Critics Award for Best Score to a Documentary in 2014 the score has won fans in the worlds of art, art music, and filmmakers.
The music Pope composed to Harvey Weinstein’s production of Simon Curtis’ film MY WEEK WITH MARILYN”, starring Michelle Williams and Kenneth Brannagh, blended many genres and styles of music to evoke not only the heady glamour of the era but the unique, poignant tragedy of Marilyn’s life and doomed stardom. The soundtrack, featuring Lang Lang on piano, is available on Sony Classics.
Conrad’s next composing assignment is to the DreamWorks/ABC television series “THE WHISPERS”, Steven Spielberg, executive producer.
Pope studied at the New England Conservatory, Princeton University and in Europe. After receiving the George Chadwick Medal, the New England Conservatory’s highest honor, upon his graduation, Pope went on to study at Munich’s Hochschule fuer Musik and at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, before completing graduate studies at Princeton University. Active in the contemporary music world, Pope co-founded a concert series at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and staged a number of American premieres while Director of the Music Production Company, working with, among others, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. In addition to regular performances in the United States, his work has garnered international attention: Pope’s “Sonata for Violoncello Alone” was the American entry in the Paris Biennale, for example, while Milan showcased his “Piano Variations” during its Musical Nel Nostro Tempo festival. Pope’s “Summer Sketches,” commissioned by Hartt School of Music, Hartford, Connecticut appears regularly on orchestra concerts throughout the United States. In spring of 2006, the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and Eckart Preu, conductor, premiered Pope’s new orchestral work “Purple Prose,” greeted with standing ovation and critical acclaim. December 2010 saw the premiere of Conrad’s most recent concert work for orchestra commissioned by the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute at their festival in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. .
Among the awards his work has received are the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Fellowship and Fulbright Fellowship, while grants include: the New York State Arts Council, the MacDowell Foundation, the Alice Ditson Foundation, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the Whiting Foundation and Meet the Composer. Pope’s work was also recognized and awarded by the Pacific Composers Forum Composition Competition.