Artist picture of John Powell

John Powell

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Oogway Ascends Hans Zimmer, John Powell 02:03
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Batucada Pagode (Featuring Carlinhos Brown) John Powell 01:35

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Biography

One of the modern era's most prolific film composers, John Powell has found great success in the animated film genre with the music to 'Antz', 'Chicken Run', 'Shrek', 'Robots', 'Ice Age' and 'How to Train Your Dragon' among his greatest triumphs.

Born in East Sussex, England, he originally trained as a violinist before studying at London's Trinity College of Music, at which point he was into jazz and rock and played in a soul band called the Faboulistics. He launched his professional career in television in 1989, composing for the British series 'Stay Lucky' and later the US cop drama 'High Incident'. Relocating to Los Angeles, he graduated to the big screen in 1997 with his first score for action movie 'Face/Off' starring John Travolta and John Cage. He subsequently collaborated with Hans Zimmer on 'Chill Factor' and the first two 'Kung Fu Panda' movies before teaming up with Harry Gregson-Williams on the music for 'Chicken Run' (2000) and 'Shrek' (2001). He also composed the scores for 'Ice Age', 'Rio', 'Horton Hears a Who' and 'The Lorax' and won acclaim for scores for the 'Bourne' movies as well as 'The Italian Job' (2003), 'Mr & Mrs Smith' (2005), 'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006) and 'Hancock' (2008).

He took time out for a few years to concentrate on composing concert music, resulting in an oratorio commemorating the centenary of the Great War which - titled 'A Prussian Requiem' - was premiered at London's Royal Festival Hall in London in 2016. Jose Serebrier conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra with a libretto by Michael Petry. He returned to movie soundtracks in 2018, providing the music for sci-fi blockbuster 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'.