Composer Details
Rachel Portman
December 11, 1960 

Country of origin
Great Britain 

Web site 

Born as Rachel M. Portman in Haslemere, England.

Married 1995 to film producer Uberto Pasolini, and had her first child (Anna) the same year. She gave birth to her second daughter 1998/3/19.

She is educated in classical music, in composition and orchestrating. She played various types of instruments from a very early age. And started composing, when she was about 13-14 years old. She is educated in music at the University of Oxford. Her musical background, is the main reason why, most of her scores, is composed on a piano. She hardly ever uses synthesisers, or other electronic instruments.

She has been praised by many to be a new pioneering composer, towards film music. Not only because she is among the very few women in the business, but also especially because she, right from the start, has been deeply involved in the characters and the drama, which she had to underscore. So deeply, that the characters emotions on the big screen, actually "bursts" out in the theatre, through epic and lush music from Rachel.

Even though, she started her career way back in the early 1980's, It took her many years to get established and frequently requested for major Hollywood-pictures. The breakthrough came with Used People and Emma. In 1988 she won THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE'S YOUNG COMPOSER OF THE YEAR AWARD. She has also won THE CARLTON TELEVISION AWARD for "Creative Originality for Women in Film". And she has been nominated to 3 other British awards. Among them, her fine score to the film Where Angels Fear To Tread. In 1997, she finally got The Academy's recognition, when she got an Oscar for her fine score to Emma (1996).

The female director Beeban Kidron is probably the one director, who has collaborated most with Rachel, and they will probably continue their collaboration. So far, they have made 4 films together.

Rachel orchestrates almost every score herself. Although Jeff Atmajian, has done orchestration work for her on her later scores, such as: Marvin's Room, The Other Sister and The Cider House Rules.

She uses different conductors. Usually David Snell, but J.A.C. Redford has conducted her scores for The Joy Luck Club, Benny & Joon and A Pyromaniac's Love Story.
(Thanks to Henrik Stender)  

View the filmo/discography of Rachel Portman.

Other interesting sites:
The First Rachel Portman Fan-page