Simon Franglen

Simon Franglen is an English composer of classical and film music. He cites himself as a former record producer and musician. His credits include four of the list of top grossing films and six of the list of best-selling albums of all time.
In 2019, he premiered a new large scale orchestral and choral work for live performance, the oratorio "The Birth of Skies and Earth", based on the great Chinese creation myths. A ninety-minute work, with libretto in Mandarin Chinese, it premiered in Shanghai, with 176 musicians on stage, featuring a 90 piece orchestra, 80 voice choir, and six soloist singers. Subsequently it toured around China.
It was announced that, in 2020, Franglen would be composing a new large scale opera set against the backdrop of the Second World War in Asia.
His film work includes a number of well-known movies, including Avatar, for which he received Golden Globe and Grammy nominations for the theme song, and for being the producer of "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, for which he won a Record of The Year Grammy Award. Other film credits range from David Fincher's Seven, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Magnificent Seven, to arranging music for the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre.


Franglen has worked with Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, David Foster, Toni Braxton, The Corrs, Monica, Bee Gees, Luciano Pavarotti. Currently there are over four hundred music credits to Franglen on AllMusic.

Early career

Franglen mentions his early musical influences as The Damned, Killing Joke and Isao Tomita. After showing skill with synthesizers whilst working in London recording studios as a student, Franglen was hired by Trevor Horn as a Synclavier programmer, working on Yes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Godley and Creme. He left Sarm West Studios to become an independent producer for acts like The Associates and a composer for commercials and TV. He composed the famous Direct Line jingle.

Pop work

Franglen was persuaded by engineer/producer Humberto Gatica to move to the USA, where he became a top Los Angeles session musician and programmer. Alongside his career on film music, Franglen has been involved in a huge number of singles and albums that have charted highly, since the early 1990s.. These include:
"Un-Break My Heart"
"Change The World"
"For You I Will"
"I Swear"
"I Have Nothing"
"No Matter What"
He has produced a wide variety of material, from UK grime rappers such as Ironik and Chip to classical tenors including Rolando Villazon.

Film score work

Franglen moved into film music when he was introduced to the composer John Barry late in the production of the score for Dances with Wolves and collaborated on the soundtrack album. He continued to work with Barry for a number of years, including on Chaplin. Other long term collaborations were with the film composers Alan Silvestri, James Horner, and Howard Shore, for whom he created the trademark dystopian electronica for Seven by David Fincher, Crash by David Cronenberg.
He worked with producer David Foster on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard and later, produced Nicole Kidman and Ewan MacGregor's "Come What May" with Foster for Baz Lehrmann's Moulin Rouge!, he separately acted as vocal producer for the film songs. In 1997, he worked for the first time with James Horner on the score for Titanic, for which he won a Grammy Award as producer of "My Heart Will Go On". He reconnected with Horner for Avatar, spending almost 11 months working on the score; he acted as Electronic Music Arranger and also co-write and co-produced the Golden Globe and Grammy nominated theme song. Horner and Franglen continued to work closely together from 2009 on films such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Franglen initially acting as arranger, then moving to score producer.

Recent work

In 2016, after the tragic death of his friend, James Horner, Franglen co-composed the score to The Magnificent Seven, which Horner had commenced. He won an ASCAP award for his work. 2016 also included original music for director Terrence Malick's film Voyage of Time.
In December 2016, he premiered a new fifteen minute 3-dimensional orchestral immersive work in what CNN called 'The World's Highest Art Space' - a 240 speaker immersive experience featuring four separate complete orchestral parts, Chinese Solo instruments, choir and bells on the 2000 ft high 126th floor of the Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China.
In early 2017, he worked with Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, producing 3D mixes of some of their best known tracks for an immersive installation room at the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition,. Over 400,000 people visited the exhibition and the installation will tour around the world.
Franglen was responsible for the production and further composition of the music throughout Pandora–The World of Avatar which opened at Walt Disney World in Florida in May 2017, taking over duties from James Horner in 2015. In 2018, an album of selected music from the park was released by Walt Disney Music album.
He scored Together - a new immersive film by director Terrence Malick which premiered at SXSW in late 2017 and at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival
. In 2018, he composed the scores to Peppermint directed by Pierre Morel, the MGM TV series The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by director Jean-Jacques Annaud.
At the beginning of 2019, he premiered the 90 minute oratorio - "The Birth of Skies and Earth".
In mid 2019, he composed the score to Xiaolong Zheng's Turandot, The Three Bracelets, a large-budget Chinese historical action fantasy for release in 2020.
In early 2020, he will be composing the score to the mythological epic, Brahmastra, directed by Ayan Mukerji. In late 2020, he will premiere a new opera. He has been hired to write new songs for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3.

Other work

Franglen accompanied Barbra Streisand for her first live performance in 27 years at the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton in Washington DC. He also toured with her for the subsequent come-back tour.


The composer and producer Nick Franglen is his brother. The musician and writer Hans Keller was his great uncle.

Film credits