Brian May

Brian May

Birthday: July 28, 1934
Born Place: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


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Brian May rates highly as one of the best film music composers in the history of Australian cinema. May’s scores are distinguished by their full, rich and supremely melodic orchestration. Brian was born on July 28, 1934 in Adelaide, South Australia. He studied as a pianist, violinist and conductor at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium. May joined the ABC Adelaide in 1957 so he could form and conduct the well-regarded ensemble the ABC Adelaide Big Band. At age 35 Brian moved to Melbourne to become the conductor and arranger of the ABC’s Melbourne Show band. Brian began his career providing the themes for such TV programs as “Bellbird,” “Countdown,” and “New Wave” prior to breaking into the movie business. His score for the dramatic series “Rush” in particular is considered one of his finest musical accomplishments. Brian achieved his greatest commercial success with the thrilling and powerful scores for the first two “Mad Max” futuristic science fiction action features, supplying raw, potent and thunderous music which added immensely to the on-screen drama and excitement. May deservedly received an Australian Film Institute Award for his outstanding work on “Mad Max.” His scores for “Roadgames,” “Mad Max 2,” and “Frog Dreaming” were also nominated for Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Score. Brian collaborated on four pictures with director Richard Franklin: “”The True Story of Eskimo Nell,” “Patrick,” “Roadgames,” and “Cloak & Dagger.” (Franklin originally wanted to work with May again on “Psycho II,” but wound up ultimately using Jerry Goldsmith instead.) Moreover, Brian provided the music for a handful of movies made by producer Anthony I. Ginnane: “Patrick,” “Snapshot,” “Harlequin,” “The Survivor,” “The Race for the Yankee Zephyr,” and “Turkey Shoot.” May composed the chillingly effective scores for the horror films “Nightmares,” “Blood Moon,” “Dr. Giggles,” and “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.” Brian May died at age 62 from a heart attack on April 25, 1997.

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