Conrad Pope, Faculty
Award-winning composer Conrad Pope is making waves in Hollywood. "Fresh and top flight," raves Variety about his music. Pope's scores range over the entire cinematic spectrum. "Emotionally evocative", his music expertly creates for each film what The Hollywood Reporter called "sub-textural punch".
His most recent score as composer is Harvey Weinstein’s production of Simon Curtis’ film “My Week with Marilyn”, starring Michelle Williams and Kenneth Brannagh. The soundtrack, featuring Lang Lang on piano, is available on Sony Classics.
Pope is emerging as one of the most exciting, original voices in contemporary film scoring, surprising no one who knows him or his work. Conrad has contributed to more than a hundred movies. He has worked on films of every genre and budget, making scores that “work" in almost every style. This "in the trenches" music making, working side by side with Hollywood's top professionals---including Joe Johnston and Walter Murch on Universal's The Wolfman, Scott Hicks on No Reservations and Gary Ross on Seabiscuit--has honed his ability to see films as a filmmaker does. Often the discussion of music in a film can seem abstract and nebulous. It is Conrad's unique work experience and dramatic perspective that has made him a valuable collaborator, able to effectively and concretely communicate with a director about the contribution music can make to their film.
Among his peers, Conrad is not only regarded as a "musician's musician," but he is recognized as an imaginative musical dramatist, able to contribute a meaningful dimension to a film's story: music, the emotional core of every film.
Pope's passionate commitment to telling a film's story with persuasive and compelling music has made him one of the most "in demand" scoring professionals. He is Supervising Orchestrator and Co-Producer for the scores to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II. Such canny top guns as John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, James Newton Howard, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, John Powell, Hans Zimmer, and Mark Isham have all called upon his gifts as an arranger, orchestrator and conductor.
Conrad's musical qualifications are rare in today's Hollywood. Classically trained at some of the world's finest music conservatories, he arrived in Hollywood with abilities to recreate with uncanny precision different styles of music. This talent was 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 "ghost writing" of many major motion pictures. Today, few music professionals are as esteemed as Conrad for his first-hand, comprehensive command of the many facets of film scoring and, his reputation for consistently delivering "the goods." The iconic hits and contemporary classic films Pope has contributed to are too numerous to list. A small sampling includes: the most recent installments of the Star Wars films (The Phantom Menace, The Attack of the Clones, The Revenge of the Sith) the Harry Potter series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek X, the Matrix films. Memoirs of a Geisha, Julie and Julia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, A Christmas Carol and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
Pope was classically trained at the New England Conservatory, Princeton University and in Europe. After receiving the George Chadwick Medal, the school's highest honor, upon his graduation from the New England Conservatory, Pope went on to study at Munich's Hochschule fur Musik and at Tanglewood, before completing graduate studies at Princeton University. Active in the contemporary music world, Pope 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 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 was also awarded First Prize by the Pacific Composers Forum Composition Competition.