Howard Shore '69 Composes Score to The Hobbit

December 11, 2012
Howard Shore with the London Philharmonic
Howard Shore '69
Photo by Benjamin Ealovega
Photo by Benjamin Ealovega

Howard Shore '69, the Academy Award–winning alumnus of The Lord of the Rings fame, returns to Middle-earth with a score for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which hits theaters Friday, December 14. 

Shore, who earned three Oscars for his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, began the process of composing for The Hobbit with J.R.R. Tolkien's book. "I always begin with the book, the words, the most important things," Shore said in an Entertainment Weekly video about composing the score, directed by his wife, music producer for film Elizabeth Cotnoir. He also gathered inspiration from nature. 

The Hobbit score was recorded at the historic Abbey Road Studios in London by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, whose music blankets The Lord of the Rings soundtrack. "They created the sound for Middle-earth," said Shore. "It was so important to continue that connection." 

"I think film scoring can be very successful if it transports the audience into the work of the film in a very seamless way," said Shore, who has also been honored with Grammy and Golden Globe awards and whose film credits include CrashThe DepartedSilence of the Lambs, and Ed Wood.

Shore studied composition at Berklee, graduating a decade before the college launched the world's first undergraduate film scoring program. Here, the foundation for his illustrious career was built. "Berklee had the keys to everything I was interested in, so it was a very quiet kind of gathering up of information. It was this real desire to create music, a real curiosity, which I still have," Shore said in an interview with Berklee.edu the year Berklee presented him with an honorary doctorate of music at its commencement ceremonies.

Check out Shore's and other alumni achievements in film.