John Debney Biography

John Debney is an Academy Award nominated film composer hailed as one of the most prolific and successful composers in Hollywood. Debney has over 100 scores to his credit, ranging from the critically acclaimed Cutthroat Island soundtrack to certified Gold soundtrack, The Passion of the Christ. His unique ability to create memorable music across a variety of genres, along with his reputation for being remarkably collaborative, have made him the first choice of top level producers and directors. Debney continues to be celebrated for adapting to any assignment by combining his classical training with a myriad of musical styles and techniques, including contemporary beats and ancient instrumentation.

After earning his B.A. in Music Composition from the California Institute of Arts, Debney scored diverse television projects, including Sea Quest DSV, for which he won an Emmy for Best Main Title. In 1993, he scored his first feature film, the Disney comedy Hocus Pocus.

Debney has since gone on to establish himself as a formidable film composer across a wide range of genres through repeated work with several noted directors, including Garry Marshall on The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Raising Helen, Georgia Rule, and Valentine's Day; Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez on Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, Sin City, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, Predators, and Machete; Jon Favreau on Elf, Zathura, and Iron Man 2; Tom Shadyac on Liar Liar, Dragonfly, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, and the documentary I Am; and the executive producer of The Passion of the Christ, Stephen McEveety, reunited with Debney on The Stoning of Soraya M.

In 2004, Debney blended symphonic orchestra, a wide range of world instruments, and the beauty of the human voice to create his landmark score for The Passion of the Christ. The Passion of the Christ soundtrack became a worldwide success, earning him an Academy Award nomination, an RIAA Gold record and a Dove award. The following spring, Debney premiered "The Passion of the Christ Symphony" in Rome, Italy. The internationally televised performance featured an 83-person choir and a 96-piece orchestra, and included special guest vocalist Lisbeth Scott and woodwind soloist Pedro Eustache.

In 2005, Debney became the youngest recipient of ASCAP's prestigious Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award. Debney broke new ground scoring his first videogame, Lair, in 2007. His Lair score was nominated for a BAFTA and was awarded Best Videogame Score by The International Film Music Critics Association. Debney was also honored with a Career Achievement Award at the Burbank International Film Festival. In 2009, Daily Variety profiled Debney in an 11-page feature recognizing him as "The Billion Dollar Composer" for having scored films that have grossed nearly four billion dollars domestically.

John's recent accomplishments include scoring the superhero blockbuster Iron Man 2, the sci-fi action film Predators, Yogi Bear (in 3D), the hit romantic comedy No Strings Attached, and The Change-Up. John's more recent releases include the spy thriller The Double, and horror thriller Dream House.

John is currently in the studio working on his score for the romantic comedy New Year's Eve, which marks his sixth collaboration with director Garry Marshall. John will also score the upcoming comedy reimagining of The Three Stooges, directed by The Farrelly Brothers.