Brought up in New Jersey, Alan Silvestri learnt to play the drums, saxophone, bassoon and clarinet before taking up the guitar aged fifteen and hugely influenced by two masters Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, he originally thought of pursuing a career as a jazz guitarist. After two years majoring in composition at Boston's Berklee College of Music he moved to Las Vegas where he joined legendary rocker Wayne Cochran's band The C.C. Riders as guitarist and gained a grounding in live performance playing three shows a night at The Flamingo Hotel. Quitting the band Silvestri joined his girlfriend in Los Angeles and finding himself with no money and no job he and his lyricist friend Bradford Craig accepted work scoring the music for the 1972 b-movie The Doberman Gang despite being completely inexperienced. Although he had never previously considered making a career composing for the screen he enjoyed the work and subsequently scored several more low-budget movies (including Las Vegas Lady and The Amazing Dobermans, a 1976 follow-up to his debut) and served as the principle composer on more than one hundred episodes of the popular US TV police series CHiPS. Soon after completing work on the television show his music was noticed by successful director and producer Robert Zemeckis who invited the fledgling composer to produce a demo for his forthcoming movie. Delighted with Silvestri's work he commissioned him to score the whole film - 1984's Romancing The Stone starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito.
Not only did the resulting score introduce Silvestri to both the public and filmmaking community but it also became the first in a prolific and enduring working relationship between the composer and director. Since that time Silvestri has scored all of Zemeckis' movies, a catalogue that includes; Back To The Future (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Back To The Future Part II (1989), Back To The Future Part III (1990), Death Becomes Her (1992), Forrest Gump (1994), Contact (1997), What Lies Beneath (2000), Cast Away (2000), The Polar Express (2004), Beowulf (2007), A Christmas Carol (2009) and Flight (2012). Outside of his work with Zemeckis he has built a successful reputation through a series of movies including Fandango (1985), Cat's Eye (1985), Summer Rental (1985), The Clan Of The Cave Bear (1986), The Delta Force (1986), Flight Of The Navigator (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Predator (1987), Overboard (1987), The Abyss (1989), Young Guns II (1990), Predator II (1990), Shattered (1991), Soapdish (1991), Dutch (1991), Ricochet (1991), Father Of The Bride (1991), Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Diner (1992), The Bodyguard (1992), Judgment Night (1993), Grumpy Old Men (1993), Blown Away (1994), The Quick And The Dead (1995), The Perez Family (1995), Judge Dread (1995), Father Of The Bride Part II (1995), Grumpier Old Men (1995), Sgt. Bilko (1996), Eraser (1996), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Fools Rush In (1997), Volcano (1997), Mousehunt (1997), The Odd Couple II (1998), The Parent Trap (1998), Holy Man (1998), Practical Magic (1998), Stuart Little (1999), Reindeer Games (2000), The Mexican (2001), The Mummy Returns (2001), Serendipity (2001), Showtime (2002), Lilo & Stitch (2002), Stuart Little 2 (2002), Identity (2003), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life (2003), Two Soldiers (2003), Van Helsing (2004), The Wild (2006), Night At The Museum (2006), Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian (2009), G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009), The A-Team (2010), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), The Croods (2013) and RED 2 (2013). Other than his early television work on CHiPs Silvestri also composed music for episodes of Starsky And Hutch (1978-79), Manimal (1983), T.J. Hooker (1983), Amazing Stories (1983), Tales From The Crypt (1989-95) and the double Emmy Award winning Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014). Silvestri has been honoured by the music and movie industries several other times, winning three Grammy Awards for The Bodyguard (only containing one track by Silvestri), Polar Express and Cast Away and three Saturn Awards for Predator, Back To The Future III and Van Helsing while he was recognised by ASCAP who presented him with the Henry Mancini Award.
Like many contemporary movie composers he has enjoyed significant success with soundtrack albums, most notably with The Abyss,
Back To The Future Part II, Back To The Future Part III and What Lies Beneath. An innovative musician and composer Silvestri is comfortable writing for any genre, be it science fiction, drama, animation, westerns or thrillers and his personal style encompasses orchestral works with the odd nod to his early jazz leanings. Away from music Alan Silvestri and his wife Sandra operate the commercially successful Silvestri Vineyards in California's Carmel Valley, the composer believing that there are parallels between the creation of music and wine, the success of both relying on a perfect combination of art and science.
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