james peterson

james peterson



In December of 2019 James Petersonʼs music was performed at a film music concert in Warsaw Poland for an audience of over 5000 people at Torvar Hall. Trinity Media and Entertainment Group produced. In 2018, James Peterson served as composer and music director for Lee Rudnickiʼs award winning short film, Fleur. In 2016, he received the world premiere of his concert work “Americana,” by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall. His score was selected from an international call for music and was awarded the premiere and the Audience of the Future Award. His music is often performed in concert halls around the world. His music was featured at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards underscoring the montage, “What winning the Oscar meant to me.” He was educated at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and is an adjunct faculty member at Santa Monica College-Emeritus College since 2002. James Peterson has an extensive background in composing music for media. He has composed music for more than eighty television commercials, seventy-two episodes ofABC's Ron Hazleton's House Calls as well as fifteen motion pictures including Money Fight, The Red Canvas, Margarine Wars as well as additional music for the Goya-nominated film and score Tad, the Lost Explorer. James was named Breakout Composer of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) and won best action adventure score for The Red Canvas the same year. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife Kathy, their son Keanu and their cats, Dragon, Lola and Chewie.

“you must hear this! it’s been a while since i’ve met a composer whose talent is exploding to greatness, and just waiting to be discovered.  james peterson is he. listen and i know you will agree.”


-christopher young 


spiderman 3, ghost rider, the hurricane



pittsburgh symphony orchestra

audience of the future award for "americana" (2016)


salford international composition competition

finalist - 3rd place


international film music critics association (ifmca)  

breakout composer of the year


international film music critics association (ifmca)

best action adventure score "the red canvas"


international film music critics association (ifmca)

nomination film music composition of the year "ballet for brawlers"


movie music uk

newcomer of the year


bso goldspirit

jerry goldsmith breakout composer of the year


goya nomination

best score "tad, the lost explorer”




entropy wins

identity chemicals





moving images suite


wind ensemble//

molecular machines




rose-colored glasses


film music//


actor? a documentary

step 16

money fight aka the red canvas

tad, the lost explorer

margarine wars

zombies and assholes

the hunted

on one night



quietus: to the new world

zombie rights!

the babysitter

the great bazaars

empires of steam


for billy

ron hazelton's house calls




“i have been very pleased to meet james peterson personally after having thoroughly listened to his music.  james is an accomplished composer per se, he knows how to harmonize, to develop, to orchestrate, he has got all the skills and the taste which make a perfect composer. in addition to his talent, he has a great understanding of the pictures and how the music could marry it in the best way possible.  it's very refreshing to hear a new, talented and bold composer arriving in the film music space.”


-gabriel yared  

academy award winning composer  

"the english patient," "the talented mr. ripley," "the lives of others,” "cold mountain"

"james peterson's raucous yet delicately balanced score for the red canvas is like a dozen hypodermic shots of vitamin B injected straight into your bloodstream. the rush of awe that sweeps through you upon your maiden listen is both immediate and impressive."



ain't it cool news




"the red canvas must be embraced and celebrated, and why young, massively talented composers like james peterson need to be lauded; debuts as good as this don’t come along very often."



-jonathan broxton

movie music uk


"when i first heard james peterson's score for 'red canvas' i was blown away by the sheer enthusiasm and distinct voice of his orchestral writing. a lot of film music is criticized for sounding like all other film music - but here is a fresh voice who writes for big orchestra like few others in his generation."  


-mikael carlsson 

executive producer movie score media


"the red canvas soundtrack delivers powerful blows and a knock out punch that packs quite a wallop.  if rosza, herrmann, north and all of the other film score heavyweights were still with us, they would be on their feet cheering with delight at this score."  


-david coscina

film score monthly



orchestra music

redshift  (2015) - - timp; 3 perc; hp; str (9 min) //


redshift - james Peterson
00:00 / 00:00
americana  (2009/2016 version) - - timp; 3 perc; hp; str (4 min) / premiere pittsburgh symphony orchestra /

winner of pittsburgh symphony orchestra heinz audience of the future award (2016)//


americana - james peterson
00:00 / 00:00
moving images suite  (2009) - - timp; 3 perc; hp; str (22 min) / prague filmharmonic orchestra / featured at the 82nd annual academy awards //

moving images suite - james peterson
00:00 / 00:00

electronic music


wind ensemble music

Entropy Wins Cover 2.jpg
molecular machines  (2016)

2fl.2ob.2bsn.3bbcl.1bscl.2asx.2tsx.1bsx.3tpt.4hrn.3tbn.1btbn.1euph.1tuba.timp. + 4perc / (4 min) //


molecular machines - james peterson
00:00 / 00:00

chamber music

tetrahedron (2015)

fl.ob.cl.bsn. // (3 min) //  premiere chamber music palisades

tetrahedron - james peterson
00:00 / 00:00

james peterson studio





benjamin charney, agent
fortress talent management
23901 calabasas rd. suite 2016
calabasas, CA 91302

web contact




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