There is hardly another composer to be found in Hollywood who is as multifaceted as Randy Newman. Though one associates Newman with his world-famous film songs for the most part, his repertory also includes orchestral film music of various genres. Being a singer and a pianist himself, he performs regularly on prestigious stages all over the world.
Randy Newman’s meanwhile large assortment of renowned awards includes two Oscars for the theme songs from Monsters, Inc. (»If I didn’t have you«) and Toy Story 3 (»We belong together«), 20 nominations for the Academy Award, six Grammys, eight nominations for the Golden Globes and three Emmys (among others for the opening theme of the US-American crime series MONK). Newman was also honored with a star on the »Hollywood Walk of Fame«.
In 1943, Newman was born into a family in which the passion for music was deeply rooted. Both his uncle - nine-time Oscar-winner Alfred Newman - and his cousins Thomas and David Newman have dedicated their lives to film music. Randy Newman also drew inspiration from his father Irving Newman, who was a passionate songwriter.
As early as at the age of 17 Randy wrote his first songs. He made his breakthrough with the albums »Sail Away« (1972) and »Good Old Boys« (1974) which received very positive criticism and enabled Newman to establish as an artist in the music scene. He worked together with musicians like Joe Cocker, who interpreted Newman’s world-hit »You can leave your hat on« for the film 9 ½ Weeks, Elton John, Paul Simon and George Harrison. In addition to numerous recorded albums and world tours he began to compose film scores in the 80s.
His work contains well-liked songs he wrote for several Disney and Pixar animation movies like A Bug's life, Cars, The Princess and the Frog, Monsters, Inc. Monsters University and for all three parts of Toy Story, as well as orchestral soundtracks for films like Ragtime, The Natural, Awakenings, Seabiscuit and Meet the Parents.
Newman’s film scores are influenced by a large range of different musical genres, especially by Blues, Rock and Ragtime. His music is a unique combination of rousing jazz passages, calm symphonic sounds and cheerful-comedic melodies. The biting sarcasm that characterized the lyrics of his earlier songs softens in his film songs, changing into a more humorous and gentle kind of irony.
During the concert gala »Hollywood in Vienna« on the 25th of September 2014 Randy Newman will be awarded the »Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award« by the City of Vienna. Further the audience is going to witness a unique premiere: For the first time Randy Newman will be standing side by side with his cousin and conductor of the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna David Newman on stage, performing his most popular film songs.