Jeff Beal

Jeff Beal is one of the most prolific and respected composers working in film and television today. He grew up studying the trumpet in the San Francisco Bay area, where he was immersed in the sounds of the 70' jazz, classical, rock & pop music scene. His prodigious talent in composition lead to many works for both big band and orchestra during his high school years. In his teens, his compositions were performed by the Oakland Youth symphony under maestro Kent Nagano, the Monterey Jazz Festival All Star big band, and others.

After high school, Jeff went to the Eastman School of Music to study composition with Pulitzer prize winner Christopher Rouse, Rayburn Wright and Billl Dobbins. During the Eastman years, he was awarded an unprecedented 11 student awards from Downbeat Magazine for his compositions and trumpet playing. It was at Eastman Jeff also studied film scoring, and met the producers of what would become his first film assignment, "Cheap Shots."

Before moving to Los Angeles, Beal lived in New York City and San Francisco, where he pursued a career as a jazz recording artist and composer. His debut recording "Liberation" was for Island records was considered an underground classic by the New York jazz community. Beal would continue to release a total of 7 solo recordings, and frequented as a guest artist on other recordings.

In 1993, after his "Concerto for Jazz Bass" was recorded by John Pattituci on Chick Corea's new label, Beal decided to make the move to Los Angeles . His big break came when Ed Harris called on Jeff to score his directorial debut "Pollock." Beal's unique blend of Americana, minimalism, and chamber orchestra caught the ear of many in Hollywood. This led to his relationship with HBO, where he has provided scores for two of their most adventurous series, "Rome" and "Carnivale." resulting in 3 Emmy nominations. In total Beal has received 10 primetime nominations and 3 Emmy Awards. .

Frequently called on to score assignments that require a unique and diverse musical approach, Beal won an Emmy for "Battleground" - a one hour no-dialog installment of "NIghtmares and Dreamscapes," directed by Brian Hensen, starring William Hurt. "Battleground" was a modern day homage to the iconic no-dialog Twilight Zone episode, "The Invaders" (scored by Jerry Goldsmith). Jeff's sweeping and emotive orchestral score for Ridley Scott's CIA miniseries "The Company" also resulted in a prime time Emmy.

Other notable scores include "Appaloosa" dir. Ed Harris, "No Good Deed" dir. by Bob Rafelson, "Little Red Wagon" dir. David Anspaugh, "Georgia O'Keefe" dir. by Bob Balaban the "Jesse Stone" films, dir. by Robert Harmon and the Golden Globe winning series "Ugly Betty". He is currently finishing up work on Al Pacino's "Wilde-Salome", Pacino's long awaited follow up to "Looking For Richard." Beal has also been a frequent collaborator of Academy Award winner Jessica Yu ("In The Realms of The Unreal" "Protagonist"), and is currently scoring her new film for Participant Productions; "Last Day At The Oasis"

Jeff's 1st primetime Emmy award came in 2001 for his season one theme song to "Monk." The instrumental theme was replaced in season two by the producers and became a cause célèbre among Monk fans and critics. This resulted in an online petition with thousands of signatures, and an episode by the show's writers "Mr. Monk and The TV Star" where a theme song change is protested by guest star Sara Silverman.

Beal's scores are often driven by a strong sense of melody, and frequent use of chamber size instrumentations. In a musical climate where bigger is better seems to be the pervading aesthetic, his scores are often intimate, dramatically specific and character driven. He conducts and orchestrates his own scores, and often performs on them. He plays piano, trumpet, duduk, recorders, harmonica, percussion, rababa, oud, and french horn. Beal's wife Joan Beal is a trained opera singer and has sung on several of his scores, including "Carnivale," "The Situation," and "Wilde-Salome"

Visit his website here.

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