James Shearman
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James Shearman

James Shearman
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Shearman in 2014
Background information

James Shearman is an English conductor, orchestrator, and composer. He is perhaps best known for his contributions to film scores including those for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Aladdin, Thor, Manchester by the Sea, Beauty and the Beast, and numerous others. He has collaborated frequently with composer, Patrick Doyle. In addition to his conducting and orchestration, Shearman is also a songwriter, having co-written the title track from Charlotte Church's 2000 album, Dream a Dream (among other songs). He regularly conducts notable orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Early life and education

Shearman was born and grew up in England. He attended the Royal Academy of Music where he was one of four students in the four-year BMus Commercial Music degree program, studying composition and conducting.[1] In his last year of study at the Academy, Shearman was commissioned to compose an original piece to honor film composer, John Williams. The composition ("Metropolis -- A Tribute to John Williams") was premiered in June 1996 during the British and American Film Music Festival at the Royal Academy of Music with Williams in attendance.[2][3] Shearman was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2015.[4]


Soon after his graduation from the Royal Academy of Music, Shearman began providing orchestrations to film scores. He first collaborated with composer Patrick Doyle on the 1998 film Great Expectations.[5] This led to Shearman providing orchestrations and arrangements for Doyle on another 1998 film, Quest for Camelot.[6] This partnership eventually resulted in Shearman becoming Doyle's principal orchestrator and conductor.[1] He has gone on to provide conducting, orchestration, and/or arrangements for Doyle's scores for Thor,[7]Rise of the Planet of the Apes,[8]Brave,[9]Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,[10]Cinderella, and numerous others.[11] In 2012, Shearman arranged the Brave orchestral suite for a Pixar in Concert event.[12] In 2015, he conducted a series of concerts across Europe and the United States with Doyle entitled Shakespeare in Concert.[13]

Over the course of his career, Shearman has also collaborated with numerous other composers including, Lesley Barber (Mansfield Park, Manchester by the Sea),[14]Mark Isham (In The Valley of Elah, Reservation Road),[15]Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love),[16]Paul Cantelon (The Other Boleyn Girl),[17]Jan A. P. Kaczmarek (Lost Souls),[18]Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin), and Hans Zimmer (Pearl Harbor).[19]

He has also conducted a variety of notable orchestras both through his work with film scores and through live concerts. He made his concert conducting debut in 2004 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, leading a concert of A.R. Rahman compositions.[20] In March 2014, he conducted the Ulster Orchestra for the first time with The Music of Patrick Doyle from the Films of Sir Kenneth Branagh.[21][22]

He made his Royal Festival Hall conducting debut with The Philharmonia Orchestra in October 2014.[3][13] He has also conducted the London Symphony Orchestra,[10] the Hollywood Studio Symphony,[8] the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (at the 2017 Qatar British Festival),[23] and numerous others. In 2017, Shearman made his Konzerthaus, Vienna and Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra debut, sharing the conducting with American conductor John Mauceri for the televised 2017 Hollywood In Vienna concert: Fairytales and A Tribute to Danny Elfman.[24] In April 2019, he made his Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its Music from the Star Wars Saga concert.[25]

In addition to his work with film scores and orchestral concerts, Shearman has also composed, conducted, and orchestrated songs for recording artists. He co-wrote (with Sam Babenia) the title track off of Charlotte Church's 2000 album, Dream a Dream. He has also worked with Conner Reeves, Oasis, Gary Barlow,[3] and Nightwish.[26] Most recently, he conducted the choirs and orchestra for the latter band's 2015 album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful.[27]


Year Title
Conductor Orchestrator Arranger Composer Notes
1995 Cracker No No No No Music assistant
Episode 3.5: "Best Boys (Part Two)"
Othello No Yes No No Additional orchestrator
1998 Great Expectations No Yes No No Additional orchestrator
Quest for Camelot No Yes Yes No
The Misadventures of Margaret Yes Yes No Yes
Shakespeare in Love No Yes No No Additional orchestrator
1999 East/West Yes Yes No No
Mansfield Park Yes Yes No No Additional orchestrator
2000 Love's Labour's Lost Yes Yes Yes No
Lost Souls Yes No No No
2001 Bridget Jones's Diary Yes Yes No No
Pearl Harbor Yes No No No
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider No Yes No No
Gosford Park Yes Yes No No
2003 Calendar Girls Yes Yes No No
2005 Nanny McPhee Yes Yes No No
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Yes Yes No No
2006 The Black Dahlia Yes No No No
Eragon Yes Yes No No
2007 In the Valley of Elah Yes No No No
Reservation Road Yes No No No
2008 The Other Boleyn Girl Yes Yes No No
Nim's Island Yes Yes No No
W. Yes No Yes No
2011 Thor Yes Yes No No
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Yes Yes No No
The Moth Diaries Yes Yes No No
Dolphin Tale Yes No No No
2012 Brave Yes Yes No No
2013 Flight of the Storks Yes No No No Miniseries (2 episodes)
2013-14 Borgia Yes No No No 17 episodes
2014 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Yes Yes No No
2015 Cinderella Yes No No No
2016 Manchester by the Sea No Yes No No
Close to the Enemy Yes No No No Miniseries (7 episodes)
2017 Beauty and the Beast No Yes No No
Murder on the Orient Express Yes No No No
The Emoji Movie Yes Yes No No
2018 Irreplaceable You No Yes No No
2019 Aladdin No Yes No No


List of credits on selected albums
Year Artist Role Notes
Earthbound 1997 Conner Reeves Orchestra conductor
Twelve Months, Eleven Days 1999 Gary Barlow String arrangements UK #35[29]
Dream a Dream 2000 Charlotte Church Composer, arranger Co-wrote "Dream a Dream"[3]
The Opera Band 2004 Amici Forever Producer, orchestrator, composer
Once Nightwish Conductor FIN #1[30]
Dark Passion Play 2007 US #84[31]
Imaginaerum 2011 US #27[31]
Endless Forms Most Beautiful[27] 2015 US #34[31]


  1. ^ a b Sapiro, Ian (11 November 2016). Scoring the Score: The Role of the Orchestrator in the Contemporary Film Industry (1st ed.). Routledge. pp. 68, 76, 203. ISBN 978-0415723237.
  2. ^ Harris, C.E. (15 August 1996). "A Special Evening". JohnWilliams.org. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "James Shearman". Philharmonic Orchestra. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ "Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music" (PDF). Royal Academy of Music. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "Great Expectations (2017)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ "Quest for Camelot - Editorial Review". FilmTracks. 17 August 2003. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Quick Reviews: Thor / Captain America". The Music Behind the Screen. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Editorial Review". FilmTracks. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Michael, Chip (21 June 2012). "Review: BRAVE and the music of Patrick Doyle". Interchanging Idioms. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - Editorial Review". FilmTracks. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Walt Disney Records Presents The Cinderella Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Available March 10". PRNewsWire. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ Burden, Tim (14 December 2013). "Much Ado About Patrick Doyle". Film Score Monthly. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ a b "James Shearman". Hollywood in Vienna. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Broxton, Jonathan (6 December 2016). "MANCHESTER BY THE SEA - Lesley Barber". Movie Music UK. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ Broxton, Jonathan (14 September 2007). "IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH - Mark Isham". Movie Music UK. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ Kemp, Philip (1998). "Shakespeare in Love". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ Broxton, Jonathan (29 February 2008). "THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL - Paul Cantelon". Movie Music UK. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ "Lost Souls - Editorial Review". FilmTracks. 26 October 2000. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ a b "James Shearman". IMDb. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ Hewett, Ivan (10 March 2004). "Sweet but slight". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "The Music of Patrick Doyle from the Films of Sir Kenneth Branagh". Belfast Film Festival. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "CONCERT REVIEW: FTN reviews composer Patrick Doyle at The Waterfront Hall". Following the Nerd. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ Saleem, Fazeena (27 November 2017). "Qatar British Festival 2017 opens". The Peninsula. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ Hollands, Michael (9 December 2017). "Hollywood in Vienna - Fairytales & A Tribute to Danny Elfman". Sound of the Movies. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ "Music from the Star Wars Saga". Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. 27 April 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "NIGHTWISH Recording Orchestral Parts For New Album In London: Video Available". Blabbermouth. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ a b "ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL". ProgArchives. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ "James Shearman - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ "Twelve Months, Eleven Days". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ "Nightwish - Once (album)". Finnish Charts. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ a b c "Nightwish - Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2019.

External links

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