is an American composer of music for film, media, and the concert hall. With musical beginnings as a jazz trumpeter and recording artist, his works are infused with an understanding of rhythm and spontaneity. Steven Schneider for the New York Times wrote of “the richness of Beal’s musical thinking…his compositions often capture the liveliness and unpredictability of the best improvisation.” Beal’s seven solo CDs, including Three Graces
(Triloka), Red Shift
(Koch Jazz), and Liberation
(Island Records) established him as a respected recording artist and composer.
Beal’s eclectic music has been singled out with critical acclaim and recognition. His score and theme for Netflix drama, House of Cards
, has received five prime time Emmy Award nominations & two statues. Regarding his compelling score for the documentary, Blackfish, the late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Beal’s ability to “invoke many genres; thriller, mystery, melodrama.” Another lauded documentary, The Queen of Versailles
, opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote that, “scored wittily by composer Jeff Beal, the film glides along on Beal’s waltz theme, a theme full of elegance and class and a discordant hint of storm clouds.”
Scoring Ed Harris’ beautifully balletic painting scenes in Pollock
was an exceptional opportunity for Beal. Film critic for the Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan wrote “To watch Lisa Rinzler’s expressive shots of Harris as Pollock create his paintings, especially the famously acrobatic drip canvases, to Jeff Beal’s Aaron Copland-influenced music is little short of thrilling.”
He has received nineteen prime-time Emmy nominations for his music, and has won five statues. Other scores of note include his dramatic music for HBO’s acclaimed series Carnivale and Rome, as well as his comedic score and theme for the detective series, Monk. Beal composes, orchestrates, conducts, records and mixes his own scores, which gives his music a very personal, distinctive touch.
Beal’s commissioned works have been performed by many leading orchestras and conductors, including the St. Louis (Marin Alsop), Rochester, Pacific (Carl St. Clair), Frankfurt, Munich, and Detroit (Neeme Jaarvi) symphony orchestras. Kent Nagano commissioned and premiered two works, Alternate Route
for trumpet and orchestra with Beal as soloist, and Interchange
for string quartet and orchestra. Other commissions include the ballet "Oasis" for Smuin Ballet, "Light Falls" for the World Science Festival, The Metropole Orchestra, Ying String Quartet, Debussy Trio, Henry Mancini Institute, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington & grammy winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. His score for Philip Haas’ art installation Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons
was showcased at the Kimball Art Museum and the 2011 Venice Biennale. His first choral commission, entitled The Salvage Men
, is written for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Current commissions include new works for The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a concerto for flutist Sharon Bezaly, song cycles for Cantus, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.