Michael Kamen

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Michael Arnold Kamen (born April 15, 1948 in New York , † November 18, 2003 in London ) was an American composer who gained fame especially for his film music , but was also active as an orchestrator , arranger and songwriter .


Kamen graduated from the High School of Music & Art in New York in 1965 and then studied oboe at the Juilliard School .

In 1971 he began composing film music (which he mostly conducted himself), including box office hits such as Die Hard , James Bond 007 - License to Kill or Robin Hood - King of Thieves . From the latter comes the song (Everything I Do) I Do It for You , on which Kamen was co-author and which, as interpreted by Bryan Adams, became a worldwide success and topped the charts in Great Britain for 16 weeks in a row, which is a record to this day.

Kamen's interest in combining classical and popular music is particularly evident when working for the Metallica album S&M . For the concert recorded in 1999 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra , Kamen wrote the orchestral arrangements and conducted. According to Klaus Meine, singer of the Scorpions, Kamen had previously planned a similar project with them, which he gave up in favor of working with Metallica. However, he has worked with well-known musicians and groups before, such as Pink Floyd , Aerosmith , David Gilmour , Roger Waters , Queen ( Who Wants to Live Forever ) , Eric Clapton ( Edge of Darkness , 24 Nights ), Tom Petty , David Bowie , Eurythmics , Queensrÿche , Rush , Herbie Hancock , The Cranberries , Bryan Adams, Sting , Lenny Kravitz or Kate Bush . While working on S&M and on the following world tour, Kamen was officially a member of the band, according to Metallica (in a documentary about S&M ) .

One of his last works was the music for the German animated film Back to Gaya , which Kamen was unable to complete due to his sudden death.

In 1996 the composer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis . He died of a heart attack in 2003, leaving behind his wife and two children.

Filmography (selection)

Additional information

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Custodis : Chapter Film Music in Concert: Metallica with Michael Kamen and Moment of Glory - The Scorpions and the Berliner Philharmoniker. in: Classical Music Today. A search for clues in rock music. Bielefeld transcript-Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3-8376-1249-3 .