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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

P Is For Rachel Portman

Yay!! I am back to single letters now, all caught up with my awesome A to Z challengers. To visit these incredible people, please click at the top of my side bar.

I'm still getting caught up with all my visits. It's been a week or so I tell you. Say did any of you out there catch the premiere of Sy Fy's Defiance? I DVR'd it and hope to catch it this weekend. I hope it was as good or better than the hype.

On with the show...

Rachel Portman is an award winning composer. Born in England, she was educated at Oxford and began her career in the early 80's. She has scored over 80 films including Emma, The Cider House Rules, Benny and Joon, The Joy Luck Club, Chocolat, The Manchurian Candidate remake, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Duchess and The Vow. She was the first woman to win an Academy Award for her film score, winning in1996 for Emma, but also received nominations for Cider House and Chocolat.

Her other work includes a children's opera, The Little Prince and a musical based on the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In May 2010 she was honored by BMI with the Richard Kirk Award which is bestowed on composers who have made significant contributions in the realm of film and television music. She is the only woman to ever receive this honor so far. This award came on the heels of being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work.

When I was researching this piece, I found that Rachel had done a huge amount of film scores that I really love and actually own. It's great to see women making their way in this still hugely male dominant arena.


  1. That is some great info and it is good to know that women have conducted scores to movie. I never knew. I've seen most of those movies. (But I didn't know Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was a movie. I'd read many of Lisa See's books and would love to see the movie.)

    I did watch Defiance, but missed the first 10 minutes. I'll watch the beginning when it comes on again. It was pretty good, but I don't know if I'll keep watching it. Maybe one or two more times. :) Writer’s Mark

  2. First woman to win an Oscar for film score - good for her!
    You saw my review of Defiance yesterday. I really liked it. Didn't blow me away or anything, but it was nice to watch something on SyFy that didn't suck.

  3. I'm also watching DEFIANCE this weekend when I Torrent it, it will be my Saturday watch with new ep of GOT :) And on Monday DA VINCI'S DEMONS start here in my country.
    I will have a spotlight this Sunday on some brilliant new sf shows coming to SyFy, some really amazing ones!

  4. I am a fan of Portman as she is a leader when it comes to composers and as you have said gets recognized for her contributions. shhhh don't tell anyone i am a fan of period-styled films and enjoy her musical take on them.

  5. I like hearing about other composers besides John Williams. I just knew that others did film music too :)

  6. She sounds like a very accomplished woman.

  7. I have Defiance on my DVR. I'm looking forward to checking it out one of these days.

    And those are some really beautiful film scores. I had no idea who'd composed them.

  8. Defiance is good! A little heavy on the exposition, but good. Chocolat was an amazing movie and the music was beautiful. I'm glad to find out who did it Melissa.

  9. These are some of my favorite flicks! Wow...I didn't know...I want to go watch Chocolat ;D

    Thank you Melissa for showcasing her talents!

  10. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books. I bet I'd love the musical just as much. Great post. Ms. Portman is one talented lady.

  11. Some masterful film scoring has come from her imagination - and you're right - it's a field still so very male dominated that it's thrilling when a woman like Ms. Portman stomps in and starts blasting such an award-winning career path!


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