Bruce Broughton was born 8th March 1945 in Los Angeles. Already well-established as a television composer (including Hawaii Five-O, Quincy and Dallas), he burst onto the film-score scene in 1985 with an Oscar-nominated effort for Lawrence Kasdan’s western Silverado, which kicked off a new phase in his subsequent career. The nostalgic tone of the score, coupled with more uncompromising, modernistic action music, marked Broughton as a talent to watch. That same year he composed another masterpiece Young Sherlock Holmes for director Barry Levinson. Its multitude of themes and untapped instrumental creativity (everything from discordant woodwind to bows being tapped on string instruments) mark it as one of the finest adventure scores ever composed, earning him a Grammy nomination. Watch out for the Carmina Burana style track sung as source music in the Egyptian Pyramid/Temple, which then continues into subsequent scenes.
Broughton has enjoyed a number of successes across a variety of different media. These include film (Narrow Margin, Baby’s Day Out, Tombstone), video games (Broughton composed the first orchestral score for a game, Heart of Darkness) and television (Emmy winning/nominated scores include "The Old Man and the Sea" and "Warm Springs"). Versatile over numerous genres, Broughton’s themes range from jaunty and bold (Honey I Blew Up the Kid) to a more rustic kind of Americana (Homeward Bound 1 & 2). The composer also remains active in the concert arena. Not only has he supervised the recording of Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" for Fantasia 2000, he has also contributed his own works. These include "Modular Music" composed for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and "English Music" for Horns and Strings.
Not content with his already packed schedule, Broughton has also conducted several classics from Hollywood’s Golden Age with his regular orchestra of choice, the Sinfonia of London. Efforts to fall under his baton include Bernard Herrmann’s "Jason and the Argonauts" and Miklos Rozsa’s "Ivanhoe". A member of the Board of Directors for ASCAP (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), he has also lectured in film composition at UCLA and taught film music composition at USC. Americans may also be more familiar with Broughton’s work than they know: he has composed music for several Disney attractions including "Honey I Shrunk the Audience" and "Spaceship Earth". More recently, in October Broughton was seen conducting his Silverado score in front of a rapt audience at "Hollywood in Vienna" (see this Austrian video news item about the event), where you will see the composer address the audience briefly in German. Also in attendance was Bond composer David Arnold, who was there to pick up an award on behalf of veteran Bond composer John Barry.
Broughton has received many Emmy awards and nominations for his music for Television, and a few of these are noted below.
Sadly, much of Broughton’s work is very hard to track down, most of it appearing on the secondary market on Amazon and Ebay, or on specialist limited edition labels. However the Intrada record label does an excellent job of releasing his scores: Silverado, Tombstone and Broughton’s re-recordings of Golden Age classics are the most apparent, as are less known efforts such as The Ice Pirates and The Monster Squad.
Bruce Broughton's official website is at www.BruceBroughton.com.
Here are some CD covers signed by Bruce Broughton. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click on any thumbnail below to see a full size version of the image in a separate window.