Instruments/Expertise: Film Composition
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Jon Burlingame is the nation’s leading writer on the subject of music for films and television. He writes regularly for Daily Variety and the Los Angeles Times, and has written for such other publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, Premiere, Emmy and The Hollywood Reporter.
He is the author of three books: Sound and Vision: 60 Years of Motion Picture Soundtracks (Billboard Books, 2000), a look at film composers and movie soundtracks through the years; TV’s Biggest Hits (Schirmer Books, 1996), a history of American television scoring; and For the Record (Recording Musicians Association, 1997), about Hollywood studio musicians.
He is currently writing his fourth book, The Newmans of Hollywood – a multi-generational biography of the legendary family of film composers. He has also contributed chapters in other books: on Leonard Bernstein in On the Waterfront (Cambridge University Press, 2003), on John Williams in Boston Pops: America’s Orchestra (2000) and on Elmer Bernstein in Moving Music: Conversations With Renowned Film Composers (2003).
Burlingame teaches film-music history at the University of Southern California and has lectured on music for films and TV in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Miami and Switzerland.
He has made appearances on, or contributed music commentaries to, many DVDs, including King Kong (on the music of Max Steiner), The Magnificent Seven (Elmer Bernstein), The Sand Pebbles (Jerry Goldsmith), The Pink Panther (Henry Mancini), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Ennio Morricone), Captain From Castile (Alfred Newman), The High and the Mighty (Dimitri Tiomkin) and others.
Burlingame has annotated dozens of soundtrack albums, including those with music by John Williams, John Barry, Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith, Alfred Newman, Ennio Morricone and others. He has also written program notes for film-music concerts in locations as diverse as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
He has often appeared on radio and television, including segments on NPR, the BBC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and Bravo. He also wrote a five-part series on movie music, The Score (hosted by Phil Ramone) for the Trio cable network. And he has recently written, produced and hosted several specials on great film composers for Los Angeles classical radio station KUSC-FM.
In recent years, he has added “producer” to his busy career, producing and annotating a series of CDs of original music from the popular 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for the Film Score Monthly label.
Burlingame has served as a consultant on film- and TV-music programs for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., the American Film Institute, and the archive program of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
He began his career as a reporter and critic for daily newspapers in upstate New York. He moved in 1986 to Los Angeles, where he now lives with his wife, producer and music historian Marilee Bradford.