Composer Rob Simonsen has had a thread in the fabric of some of the most noteworthy and prestigious films of the past decade. He spanned an eternity of star-crossed romance with The Age of Adaline (starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford), also co-writing the film’s end credits song. He collaborated with director Bennett Miller to underline the unsettling atmosphere of the Oscar-nominated drama Foxcatcher, scored the Steve Carell-starring dramedy The Way Way Back with sensitivity, sympathized with the coming-of-age The Spectacular Now, delved deep into the controversial 1969 Stonewall riots musically with Roland Emmerich’s political drama Stonewall, sweetened Zach Braff’s coming-of-middle-age film Wish I Was Here, and spiced things up with Bradley Cooper’s Burnt directed by John Wells. His work in television includes the CBS comedy Life In Pieces, the Joss Whedon Fox drama Dollhouse, and the CBS ratings juggernaut Blue Bloods led by Tom Selleck. Rob’s other films include the Fox Searchlight drama Gifted directed by Marc Webb, New Line Cinema’s Going in Style starring Morgan Freeman, and the Warner Bros.’ comedy Father Figures. His most recent projects include the sci-fi thriller Fast Color, Tully starring Charlize Theron, and Twentieth Century Fox’s comedy Love, Simon. Upcoming projects include The Front Runner directed by Jason Reitman and starring Hugh Jackman and Captive State directed by Rupert Wyatt.
Prior to flying solo, under the apprenticeship of composer Mychael Danna, Simonsen contributed additional music to the scores for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (which won an Oscar for Best Score) and Bennett Miller’s Moneyball (Oscar-nominated for Best Picture)—as well as Catherine Hardwick’s The Nativity Story, Sony Pictures Animation’s Surf’s Up, and Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. With Danna he co-composed the score for Marc Webb’s hugely popular indie romance (500) Days of Summer.
Simonsen’s compositional voice is the product of an education in both rock and traditional orchestral music. He co-founded The Echo Society, a collective that provides a platform for composers to experiment and create for live performances around Los Angeles. “I think we all want to feel like we’re invited to an experience we can participate in, rather than being hit over the head with something telling us how to feel,” Simonsen says of film scoring. “I think we are often more successful when there is more space for the viewer. I don’t think a ‘simple’ approach makes scoring any easier. Sometimes simple is a lot more difficult to nail.”