July 16 2024

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Horner Passes

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James Horner, the composer who scored Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, is dead at the age of sixty-one.

Horner died yesterday in a plane crash in California.

The actor was piloting a two-seater single-engine S312 Tucano, which crashed just north of Santa Barbara, California, yesterday around 9 AM.

“A great tragedy has struck my family today, and I will not be around for a while,” said Sylvia Patrycja, who was Horner’s assistant. “I would like some privacy and time to heal. We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road.”

Born in 1953, Horner attended the Royal College of Music before returning to the US to earn a bachelor’s degree in music at USC, followed by post-grad work at UCLA.

The list of films for which he composed music is lengthy and in addition to the two Star Trek films includes such movies as 48 Hrs, Cocoon, Willow, Field of Dreams, Patriot Games, Legends of the Fall, Ransom, The Rocketeer, Sneakers, Titanic, Aliens, Field of Dreams, An American Tail, Apollo 13, Braveheart, A Beautiful Mind, House of Sand and Fog, and Avatar.

Nominated for ten Oscars over the course of his career, Horner won two for his work in Titanic; one for Best Score and one for Best Original Song (My Heart Will Go On), which Horner co-wrote with Will Jennings.

“Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner,” said Celine Dion, who sang My Heart Will Go On. “He will always remain a great composer in our hearts. James played an important part in my career. We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy.”

“I’m so sad to hear about James Horner,” said Kirstie Alley, The Wrath of Khan‘s Saavik. “He scored the first movie I did, Star Trek 2. Great composer, great person, huge loss.”

“You were one of my childhood heroes, James,” said Michael Giacchino. “Thank you for the inspiration; you will be greatly missed.”

Horner is survived by his wife, Sarah, and two daughters.

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14 thoughts on “Horner Passes

  1. Thank you for posting this! James Horner composed some of my all-time favorite Star Trek music, as well as he composed at lot of my favorite film music period. He was an amazing talent and as a fan of film music, I’m really going to miss him.

  2. I remember buying the soundtrack to Battle Beyond the Stars and thinking that this was a composer I would have to keep an eye out for.

  3. Really sad news (although I must confess that after his success with Titanic I stopped following his music as it seemed to me that he had lost some of his originality starting with the rather average Titanic and that horrible Celine Dion song)

  4. Jerry Goldsmith was the best Trek composer, but Horner provided a nice contrast. It’s a shame he didn’t come back after Search For Spock.

  5. Just went and listened to that for the first time and you can hear some resemblance to his Star Trek II piece.

  6. Ya, I agree that that horrid Titanic song weakened both Horner and Dion, and I’m a fan of both!

  7. Rocketeer and Gorky Park. Parts of Wrath of Khan are really good (like the duel in the nebula), Search for Spock comes a bit weaker, worst bits are the main themes as they lack a trademark melody like Goldsmith’s or even John Williams’ scores. (Yet still much better than the completely average Voyage Home score)

  8. No disrespect toward Cliff Eidelman, but I’d have LOVED for Horner to have come back and score STAR TREK VI. It would’ve tied so well into TWOK and TSFS. It’s a MASSIVE loss; this man composed the soundtracks which comprised so many of my cherished memories. His score to COCOON still reduces me to tears. And I still have to choke back tears when I listen to “A Fighting Chance to Live” from the soundtrack to STAR TREK III. Rest in peace, sir. Thank you for your blessed talent, and your incalculable contribution to “Star Trek” and so many other movies.

  9. Quite a bit. Also, bizarrely, Wolfen. Really didn’t fit there.

  10. When Star Trek VI was filming in spring 1991 I remember it being announced that Horner indeed was coming back.

    Maybe the deal fell through?

  11. When Star Trek VI was filming in spring 1991 I remember it being announced that Horner indeed was coming back.

    Maybe the deal fell through.

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