Biography

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Michael J Lewis, the award winning composer and producer was born in Aberystwyth, Wales. He started his career as a choirboy, aged six, became church organist at ten and later trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied harmony, counterpoint and composition. He scored his first movie The Madwoman of Chaillot, starring Katharine Hepburn in 1968, for which he won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Score. His many subsequent scores include Julius Caesar starring Charlton Heston, The Medusa Touch starring Richard Burton, 11 Harrowhouse with Candice Bergen and Theatre of Blood starring Vincent Price and Diana Rigg. His Broadway show, Cyrano, written with Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange), earned the writers a Grammy nomination and the show's star, Christopher Plummer, a Tony Award. Michael's score for the 1979 TV animated adaptation of C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe won him a coveted Emmy Award. He moved from the UK to the USA in the 1980s and his first venture into American films, scoring The Rose and the Jackal (starring Christopher Reeve), received an American Cable Excellence nomination. Upon This Rock, a dramatized documentary of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, starring Orson Welles, Sir Ralph Richardson, Dame Edith Evans and Dirk Bogarde, had one showing on Network television in the United States and has never been seen since. Michael’s music for Upon This Rock was regarded by Gramophone Film Music Guide as “This magnificent score is as powerful as anything that Alex North (Spartacus) or Miklos Rozsa (Ben Hur) could have ever done.” In 2005, KMozart, Los Angeles, devoted an entire program to a rare broadcast of this music. 
 

IBM, FORD and 3M are just three of the numerous national and international companies for which Michael

J Lewis has composed advertising music. 
 

Michael J Lewis divides his time between composing, producing and recording for his record label Pen Dinas Productions and being obsessed with a new passion – story and script writing. Pen Dinas’s first release in 1995 was the highly acclaimed double CD Orchestral Film Music of Michael J Lewis, which received outstanding critical reviews. Later CDs have been devoted to vocal and instrumental music.

Michael made his home in Austin, Texas for ten years, during which time he became an aficionado of Central Texas honky-tonks and a devotee of two-step, triple step, country waltz, swing and BBQ, when he could be dragged away from his digital recording studio.

S
ince 2015, Michael has lived in Mississippi, the birthplace of American music. His writing is being influenced by the blues and gospel music of his newly adopted state and of neighbouring New Orleans, Louisiana. The first recorded product of his Mississippi work is due for release late 2018, using all local talent from the Deep South.

 

 

 

 

Photo: Michael J Lewis and Daniel Lelchuk (cello) recording at Big Storm Studio, New Orleans.

November 3, 2015

Photo courtesy of Alison Pryce

 

 

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