How good is Jerry Goldsmith at Conducting

Jerry Goldsmith conducts at a London concert in 2000

"If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will because it is good."

Born February 10th, 1929, Jerry Goldsmith studied piano with Jacob Gimpel and composition, theory and counterpoint with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also attended classes in film composition given by Miklos Rozsa at the Univeristy of Southern California. In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. There, he was given his first embryonic assignments as a composer for radio shows such as "Romance" and "CBS Radio Workshop." He wrote one score every week for these shows and they were performed live on transmission. He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored "The Twilight Zone." He was hired by Revue Studios to score their "Thriller" series. At the same time, he met and became acquinted with the influential film composer Alfred Newman, who, recognizing Goldsmith's talents, hired him to score the film Lonely Are The Brave in 1963, his first major feature film score.


He quickly burst onto the popular scene with magnificent scores to A Patch of Blue (1965), The Blue Max (1966), and The Sand Pebbles (1966), his first epic. An experimentalist, Goldsmith is constantly pushing forward the bounds of film music. In 1968, Planet of The Apes included horns blown without mouthpieces and a bass clarinetist fingering the notes but not blowing. Meanwhile, Patton and The Wind and the Lion, both nominated for Academy Awards, showed Goldsmith as an expert of the massive Hollywood theme, capturing every motif from reincarnation and militaristic joy to Allah and the mysteries of the heart. After winning his first Academy Award with The Omen in 1976, Goldsmith began a new type of experimentation: electronics.

He was unafraid to use the wide variety of electronic sounds and instruments which are now available, although he did not use them for their own sake. In the late 1970's and 1980's, in such critical successes as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Under Fire, and Hoosiers, Goldsmith utilized the best of synthesized accompaniment, often performed live as a fifth section of the orchestra. By the 1990's, Goldsmith, father of then-upcoming composer Joel Goldsmith, began composing more scores than ever before, some of which of lesser quality and not necessarily deserving of his services. His scores for The Russia House, Rudy, The Ghost and the Darkness, and The 13th Warrior highlight his later efforts.

Conducting in his jeans, brightly colored shirts and ties, with his sleeves rolled up and ready for action, Goldsmith was known in the industry as a great and admirable personality, one of the best composers with whom to work. Many directors and producers requested his services, and he wasn't particular in the types of projects he would accept. His sense of humor was also noted; he wore an ape mask, for instance, when conducting the score for Planet of The Apes. His only rejections (scores that were thrown out by the producers or director in post-production) were for Alien Nation (1988), Gladiator (1992), The Public Eye (1992), and, ironically, his final completed film score, Timeline (2003).

Goldsmith died at the age of 75 on July 21st, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Beverly Hills home. He was survived by his wife, Carol, children Aaron, Joel, Carrie, Ellen Edson and Jennifer Grossman, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild. So popular remains Goldsmith's career that nearly every work he produced has been pressed onto a CD album, many of them released several times.

(see legend below for abbreviations and codes)

 TitleFRVRVTRD TRDatesNotes
Looney Tunes: Back in Action(co-wrote)****3.321,173||27011/03 - 03/09
Star Trek: Nemesis**3.004,285||||12012/02 - 02/14all albums
The Sum of All Fears****3.522,434|||27706/02 - 08/14
The Last Castle***3.301,664||68910/01 - 01/09
Along Came a Spider**2.623,177||68804/01 - 01/09
Hollow Man**2.534,152||15808/00 - 06/08
The 13th Warrior(co-wrote)****3.933,958||||8808/99 - 04/08all albums
The Haunting****3.361,392|||60408/99 - 12/17all albums
The Mummy***3.4512,925|||11205/99 - 01/19multiple albums
Star Trek: Insurrection****3.704,150||||16712/98 - 08/13all albums
Small Soldiers****3.352,816||14007/98 - 10/18multiple albums
Mulan(co-wrote)(AW)****3.9610,351|||3606/98 - 07/07all albums
U.S. Marshals**2.58590|48503/98 - 04/07
Deep Rising**2.79800||53802/98 - 08/14all albums
The Edge****3.411,848|||27610/97 - 06/10all albums
L.A. Confidential(AW)***3.072,223|28012/97 - 06/07
Air Force One(co-wrote)***3.714,081|||6307/97 - 05/07all albums
Fierce Creatures***2.66251|96812/96 - 08/08
Star Trek: First Contact(co-wrote)***3.629,231||||4312/96 - 05/12multiple albums
The Ghost and the Darkness*****3.963,394|||13910/96 - 04/16all albums
Chain Reaction***2.95238||79010/96 - 11/15all albums
Executive Decision**2.99270||74610/96 - 03/16multiple albums
City Hall***2.91205||1,05706/98 - 11/11
First Knight****3.673,222|||9709/96 - 04/11all albums
Powder***3.37757||52306/98 - 06/16all albums
Congo***3.76537||60710/96 - 02/13multiple albums
The Shadow*****3.932,717||||27409/96 - 08/12all albums
I.Q.***2.73150||1,67707/09 - 02/10all albums
Bad Girls***3.38414|||40306/98 - 07/11all albums
The River Wild(co-wrote)***3.11276|||51205/98 - 12/15all albums
Angie**2.82200||1,03506/98 - 11/11
The Vanishing****3.36278|||61306/98 - 09/08all albums
Six Degrees of Separation*2.22270|57107/98 - 09/08
Matinee***3.18273||99606/98 - 11/11
Rudy****3.903,814||18804/97 - 01/08
Dennis the Menace***3.25340||60206/98 - 08/14multiple albums
Malice**2.86226||1,04003/97 - 10/11
Medicine Man****3.751,488|||49812/96 - 09/08
Mom and Dad Save the World**2.86239||97206/98 - 10/11
Mr. Baseball**2.70243||1,07706/98 - 10/11
Love Field***3.23191||1,05106/98 - 11/11
Basic Instinct(AW)****3.943,543|||10612/96 - 04/16all albums
Forever Young***3.23309|||58106/98 - 09/11all albums
Not Without My Daughter**2.70289||69606/98 - 07/09
Sleeping with the Enemy****3.591,076||45006/98 - 09/11all albums
Total Recall****3.893,163|||16012/96 - 03/16all albums
The Russia House*****4.295,347||||20212/96 - 01/18all albums
Gremlins 2: The New Batch****3.41351|||32603/97 - 10/15all albums
Warlock**2.64198||86101/98 - 04/16multiple albums
Criminal Law*2.43196|1,11807/98 - 10/11
Leviathan****3.19314||74706/98 - 11/11
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier****3.763,161|||14608/97 - 05/12all albums
Rambo III****3.631,260|||40206/98 - 04/18all albums
The 'Burbs*****3.98892|||22708/97 - 07/09multiple albums
Rent-A-Cop***2.96224||1,09106/98 - 03/10multiple albums
Innerspace***3.37418|||76407/03 - 02/10all albums
Lionheart*****4.24512|||1,27407/09all albums
Extreme Prejudice***3.30539|||1,12402/05 - 10/11all albums
Link*2.55265||1,45407/09 - 06/16all albums
Hoosiers(AW)*****4.332,216||||28806/03 - 12/12all albums
Poltergeist II: The Other Side***3.18407|||32110/03 - 07/17all albums
Rambo: First Blood Part II****3.761,208|||33505/99 - 01/17all albums
Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend***3.13210||1,55407/09 - 06/18all albums
Explorers****3.34218|||1,50307/09 - 09/11all albums
Legend****3.24938|||33303/97 - 03/09all albums
King Solomon's Mines**3.24237||1,38608/09 - 02/15all albums
Gremlins****3.531,248|||31711/99 - 11/11all albums
Supergirl***3.34215||1,40507/09multiple albums
The Lonely Guy**
Runaway*2.35179||1,52507/09 - 02/14all albums
Under Fire(AW)*****4.141,034|||43808/97 - 09/08all albums
Psycho II**3.03196||1,23707/09 - 05/14multiple albums
Twilight Zone: The Movie****4.08382|||1,41607/09multiple albums
First Blood****4.28544|||1,26907/09 - 12/10all albums
The Challenge***2.82272||90804/00 - 07/13multiple albums
The Secret of N.I.M.H.****3.43595|||57506/03 - 04/16all albums
Poltergeist(AW)****3.922,668|||18603/97 - 12/10all albums
Masada (TV)(co-wrote)(AW)****3.57264|||1,50007/09 - 06/11all albums
Raggedy Man**2.75130||1,12908/97 - 10/11limited
Inchon***2.96177||1,59107/09 - 06/13all albums
The Final Conflict****3.78260|||1,44307/09all albums
Outland**2.85301|||1,39607/09 - 06/10all albums
The Salamander
Night Crossing****3.52216||1,45207/09 - 08/14multiple albums
Star Trek: The Motion Picture(AW)*****4.123,753||||10501/99 - 06/18all albums
Alien(AW)***3.94647|||71607/09all albums
The Great Train Robbery***3.12155||1,62107/09 - 12/11all albums
Magic***2.64691||84006/03 - 07/15multiple albums
The Boys from Brazil(AW)****3.32198||1,41807/09multiple albums
The Swarm****3.28873||1,04602/03 - 03/09limited
Damien: Omen II****3.28163|||1,53807/09all albums
Capricorn One****3.39207|||1,13507/09 - 04/16all albums
Coma**2.8695||1,65207/09all albums
Contract on Cherry Street (TV)***2.92139|1,22510/99 - 06/08limited
Damnation Alley**
Islands in the Stream***3.14198||1,54408/09 - 03/10all albums
Twilight's Last Gleaming**2.74145||1,03308/97 - 11/11multiple albums
The Hemingway Play (TV)
The Cassandra Crossing***
High Velocity***
The Omen(AW)*****4.17657||||94107/09 - 03/17all albums
Logan's Run***
Breakheart Pass***3.04108||1,57507/09 - 06/16multiple albums
Babe (TV)(AW)***
Take a Hard Ride****3.37801||90403/00 - 06/16all albums
Medical Story (TV)**
A Girl Named Sooner (TV)***3.07260||93203/00 - 04/07limited
The Wind and the Lion(AW)*****4.23520|||1,19907/09multiple albums
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
Ransom (The Terrorists)****
Breakout***3.12314|1,06204/99 - 09/07limited
QB VII (TV)(AW)****
Winter Kill (TV)**
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (TV)***
Indict and Convict (TV)
One Little Indian****
The Going Up of David Lev (TV)
Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies***
The Police Story (TV)**
The Red Pony (TV)(AW)
Hawkins on Murder (TV)***
Pursuit (TV)
The Man
The Other***
Crawlspace (TV)
Lights Out (TV)
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (TV)***2.7976||1,74604/11limited
Crosscurrent (TV)**
Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (TV)
The Last Run****
Wild Rovers****
Escape from the Planet of the Apes*
The Mephisto Waltz**
A Step Out of Line (TV)
Rio Lobo**
The Traveling Executioner***
Tora! Tora! Tora!****
The Brotherhood of the Bell (TV)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue***
Patton(AW)*****3.951,040|||35903/99 - 11/10all albums
The Chairman***
100 Rifles***3.10572|92403/99 - 09/07limited
The Illustrated Man**
The Detective***
Planet of the Apes(AW)**
Nick Quarry (TV)
Hour of the Gun***
The Flim-Flam Man****3.07260||93203/00 - 04/07limited
In Like Flint***
Warning Shot
The Sand Pebbles(AW)****
The Blue Max****
Stagecoach**3.10588|||84706/98 - 09/16multiple albums
The Trouble with Angels**
Our Man Flint***
A Patch of Blue(AW)****3.45379||61606/97 - 12/06all albums
The Agony and the Ecstasy(co-wrote)