James Roy Horner (August 14, 1953 – June 22, 2015) was an American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film scores. He was known for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for his frequent use of motifs associated with Celtic music.
Horner was an accomplished concert hall composer before he moved into writing film scores. His first major film score was for the 1979 film The Lady in Red, but did not establish himself as a mainstream composer until he worked on the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Horner's score for Titanic is the best selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time while Titanic and Avatar, both directed by James Cameron, are the two highest-grossing films of all time.
Horner collaborated on multiple projects with directors including Don Bluth, James Cameron, Walter Hill and Ron Howard; producers including David Kirschner, Jon Landau, Brian Grazer and Steven Spielberg; and songwriters including Will Jennings, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Horner composed music for over 100 films; he won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Satellite Awards, and three Saturn Awards, and was nominated for three British Academy Film Awards.
Horner died at the age of 61 when his single-engine Tucano aircraft crashed in the Los Padres National Forest.