Composer Mark McKenzie
After earning his undergraduate degree in Composition at the University of Wisconsin and a masters and doctorate in composition from the University of Southern California School of Music studying with Morten Lauridsen, Pierre Boulez Witold Lutoslawski and others, Mark McKenzie spent his formative years working, according to the Hollywood Reporter, as “one of the foremost symphonists in Hollywood” orchestrating for John Barry, Bruce Broughton, Danny Elfman, Randy Edelman, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, John Williams and pop icons like Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. He orchestrated Spiderman, Good Will Hunting, Sleepless in Seatle, The Mummy Returns, Men in Black, Mission Impossible, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Nightmare Before Christmas, and the Academy Award winning Dances With Wolves among others. The legendary Academy Award winning master composer Jerry Goldsmith turned to Mark to orchestrate his final 7 films including Sum of All Fears, Star Trek: Nemesis and Disney’s Soarin. He also used Mark to compose the final big action sequence for the Robert Redford film The Last Castle. All together, the 125 films Mark has composed or orchestrated have grossed over 13 Billion dollars.
Mark’s 27 indie films with 24 commercial soundtracks are available everywhere music is sold or streamed including the award winning Max and Me featuring concert violinist Joshua Bell, Choir, Symphony orchestra and Libera boys choir. It was recorded at Abby Road Studios and is available on the Sony Classical label. Max and Me was nominated BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR by the International Film Music Critics Association and won the IFMCA BEST ANIMATED SCORE OF THE YEAR.
Other films include Francis Ford Coppola’s My Family/ Mi Familia with Jimmy Smiths, Edward James Olmos and Easi Morales, the James Garner / Abigail Breslin family classic The Ultimate Gift, Levar Burton’s perennial Christmas film Blizzard with Whoopi Goldberg and Christopher Plumber, the western Frank and Jesse with Rob Lowe, Bill Paxton and Randy Travis and the IFMCA BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR / Hollywood Music and Media “Best Indie Score of the year” The Greatest Miracle. Mark’s score to Michael Landon Jr and Brian Bird’s Saving Sarah Cain won the best score of the year “Best of Show” accolade and has been a top performer on the Adult Contemporary charts for over 11 years.
McKenzie is one of the very few movie composers who works extensively with electronics in his state of the art music studio as well as composes and orchestrates every note himself. Four of his scores for Universal Studios 1440 family division are 100% electronic with Mark composing, performing, engineering and recording the music. His original soundtracks continually garner sensational reviews as in these reviews for his most recent score Prancer: A Christmas Tale.
“Refusing to bend or bow to the constraints of uniformity, McKenzie’s works have only grown in their power and singular beauty….Among the most criminally underrated composers in the film and recording industries, Mark McKenzie is a musician of superior artistry whose film scores are ever deeply felt, and worthy of serious recognition…It is a work of singular eloquence, and musical poetry.” Film Music Review: Steve Vertlieb
“The score overflows with gorgeous, evocative, emotionally resonant music…warmth and heart, tenderness, playfulness, an occasional touch of whimsy, and more than a sprinkle of festive seasonal magic….for heaven’s sake, someone give this man an orchestra and a major movie to score.” Movie Music UK: Jonathan Broxton
The seemingly-effortless lightness of touch…the instantly-memorable tunes, the smiles sure to form on the face of anyone hearing them…From the gentle materials, the composer extracts great emotional weight… It is hard to imagine anyone’s day not being brightened by listening to this album… this is an absolute treat, a Christmas gift to us all. James Southall
McKenzie’s penchant for lyrical melodic writing and gorgeous orchestration comes through from the very opening…moments of awe and wonder as well as excitement….an often quite colorful and heartwarming work well worth adding to your holiday. Steven Kennedy, Film Score Monthly
“There is a warmth and a feeling of goodness that radiates from the composers score…bright, beautiful, delicate, and poignant…overflowing with fragility and mesmerizing affecting tone poems….soul warming. Highly recommended.” Jon Mansell, Movie Music International
Mark McKenzie is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Composers branch (Oscars), a board member on The Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), is a member of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys) and belongs to the BMI performing rights organization.