Bruce Broughton - A Glorious Voice

Bruce Broughton - photo 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.

Bruce Broughton - The Rescuers Down Under soundtrack CD cover 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.

Bruce Broughton - Silverado soundtrack CD cover 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.

Film music by Bruce Broughton:

    Bruce Broughton - Young Sherlock Holmes soundtrack CD cover
  • Silverado – Broughton’s Oscar-nominated breakout western score is perhaps still his most fondly regarded, he played the piano saloon bar music himself, and has created a concert version of the score called "Themes from Silverado"
  • Young Sherlock HolmesBroughton takes on John Williams at his own game and bests him, a magnificent tapestry of rich themes and blistering incidental sections
  • The Boy Who Could Fly
  • Harry and the Hendersons
  • The Monster Squad
  • The Presidio
  • Moonwalker
  • Last Rites
  • Roller Coaster Rabbit – the short starring "Roger Rabbit"
  • Jacknife
  • Narrow Margin – Aggressive propulsive action music for the Gene Hackman-starring remake
  • The Rescuers Down Under – One of the composer’s finest, blending warm themes with Aboriginal instrumentation
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation – a video follow-up to the TV series
  • Honey I Blew Up the Kid
  • Stay Tuned
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey – Lovely family score with occasional jazz interludes!
  • So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • Tombstone – Another western effort, this time much darker although with its moments of beauty
  • Baby's Day Out
  • Miracle on 34th Street – remake with Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle
  • Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
  • Infinity
  • Shadow Conspiracy
  • A Simple Wish
  • Krippendorf’s Tribe
  • Lost in Space – Film version based on the TV series whose themes were written by John Williams
  • Fantasia 2000 – conductor and advisor for the Rhapsody in Blue segment
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers – an excellent recreation of the old swashbuckling sound of Erich Wolfgang Korngold
  • Bambi II
  • The Pledge
  • A Christmas Tree Miracle
  • Alone Yet Not Alone - composer of the title song, with the film scored by William Ross

TV Work by Bruce Broughton

Broughton has received many Emmy awards and nominations for his music for Television, and a few of these are noted below.

    Bruce Broughton - Tombstone soundtrack CD cover
  • Gunsmoke
  • CHiPs – most episodes were scored by Alan Silvestri
  • How the West was Won – the TV series
  • Hawaii Five–O – Emmy nomination
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
  • Quincy M.E (58 episodes) – Emmy nomination
  • The First Olympics: Athens 1896 – TV mini-series
  • The Master of Ballantrae
  • Dallas (52 episodes) – two Emmy wins for episodes "The Letter" and "Ewing Blues" plus two further nominations
  • Amazing Stories (4 TV episodes)
  • George Washington 2: The Forging of a Nation – a TV movie
  • The Old Man and the Sea/li>
  • O Pioneers!
  • Tiny Toon Adventures – series theme and incidental music for many of the episodes
  • Capital Critters
  • Animaniacs
  • True Women – a TV movie whose score enjoyed a brief soundtrack CD release
  • Glory and Honor – TV movie based on a true story about a race to the North Pole
  • Roughing It
  • Eloise at the Plaza
  • Eloise at Christmastime
  • Warm Springs
  • JAG – theme for the series
  • Safe Harbour – TV Movie
  • The Orville – Main Theme (and one episode) of the TV Series, with the other episodes mostly scored by John Debney or Joel McNeely

Bruce Broughton - Recommendations

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

Bruce Broughton - Memorabilia:

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.

Bruce Broughton - George Washington 2: The Forging of a Nation - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Glory and Honor - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Harry and the Hendersons - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Last Rights - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Lost in Space - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Miracle on 34th Street - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Narrow Margin - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Roughing It - signed CD Bruce Broughton: Silverado - signed CD Bruce Broughton - The First Olympics: Athens 1896 - signed CD Bruce Broughton: The Monster Squad - signed CD