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Scottish composer and actor Patrick Doyle has written music for and appeared in several of Kenneth Branagh's films. Before coming to films, Doyle received his education at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. In 1981, he appeared in his debut feature, Chariots of Fire (1981). He began his association with Branagh in 1987 when he joined the Renaissance Theatre Company. There Doyle composed music, served as musical director and acted in Branagh's productions. He began composing film scores in 1989 with Henry V. He has since worked steadily in films, both as an actor and a composer.
James Shearman (born March 23, 1970) Is an English Composer, Arranger and Conductor. He is recognized as an orchestrator and conductor of over 60 film scores, from the critically acclaimed Shakespeare in Love (1998) Gosford Park (2001), Mansfield Park (1999) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) to blockbusters such as Bridget Jones's Diary (film) (2001), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (2005), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Thor (both 2011) and Pixar’s Brave (2012 film) (2012). He is also a songwriter and producer of notable platinum and gold selling classical crossover songs Dream a Dream (2000), Amici Forever (2004). Shearman regularly conducts many leading orchestras, most notably the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Session Orchestra, The Philharmonia, the Hollywood Studio Symphony and The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2004 for a significant contribution to the music profession.
Life and career 
Shearman studied composition and arranging with Nick Ingman and conducting with Denise Ham at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won the Eric Coates prize for light composition. In his final year of studies, as part of the Academy’s annual music festival, he was commissioned to compose a piece honouring the career of legendary film composer John Williams. The piece was premiered to John Williams himself, by the Royal Academy of Music Symphony orchestra as part of the British Film Festival 1996.
It was during this period of study that Shearman, at the age of 22, established a professional reputation for himself as a skilful orchestrator. He assisted and co-orchestrated for TV and Film composers on projects such as the hit TV Series Cracker (UK TV series) (1995), and films Othello (1995) and Wind In the Willows (1996). Upon graduation, Shearman was immediately hired to composed soundtracks for TV commercials, as well as supplying string arrangements and conducting for popular recording artists such as Gary Barlow (Twelve Months, Eleven Days. Album 1999), Connor Reeves Earthbound (Conner Reeves album), and Oasis.
1997 saw the beginning of what was to become a longstanding collaboration with Academy Award nominated composer Patrick Doyle. Shearman was asked to supply arrangements of Doyle’s music for his score for Great Expectations (1998 film) (1997), directed by Alfonso Cuaron. The success of this led to him supplying further Arrangements and orchestrations for Doyle’s next movie, Quest for Camelot (1998), where he worked on both the arrangements of songs for the movie, written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, and co-orchestrated Doyle’s score along with Larry Ashmore (Doyle’s long time orchestrator from 1989) at the 20th century fox studios in Los Angeles.
Shortly after returning from Los Angeles, Shearman was approached to compose his first feature film score The Misadventures of Margaret (1998), a romantic comedy directed by Brian Skeet and starring Parker Posey, Jeremy Northam and Brooke Shields. The film gave Shearman an opportunity to compose a quirky, melodic score, which he also orchestrated and conducted. The score was recorded by the London Session Orchestra at Air Lyndhurst Studios, London. Numerous orchestrations and the conducting of scores for films continued, most notably, Shakespeare in Love (1998) music by Stephen Warbeck, Les Misérables (1998 film) music by Basil Poledouris, Mansfield Park (film) (1999) music by Lesley Barber, Lost Souls (film) (2000) music by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek and Bridget Jones's Diary (film) (2001) music by Patrick Doyle.
In 2000 Shearman, along with long-term songwriting collaborator Sam Babenia, had notable commercial success as a songwriter, co-writing (with Simon Greenaway) Dream a Dream for Charlotte Church. Based on the melody of Faure’s Pavane, the song became the title track of the album and as of Dec 5, 2008 Dream a dream had accumulated sales of 1,630,00 copies in the U.S. alone, according to SoundScan, and certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Dream a Dream also featured on the album Prelude, a ‘best of’ album by Charlotte Church, released in 2002. With Babenia, he also co-wrote, arranged and produced the song Prayer in the Night for Amici Forever, a band of four classically trained singers who mixed opera with pop music. Prayer in the Night became the album’s (The Opera Band) much featured song and was performed at the Classical BRIT Awards where the album was nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ 2004. Shearman collaborated with Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, conducting the epic symphony orchestra and choir backing for the Platinum selling album Once Once (Nightwish album) (2004) and continuing this role on subsequent albums Dark Passion Play (2007) and Imaginaerum (2011).
As a Conductor, in 2004 Shearman made his début at Birmingham symphony hall with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducting a concert of music by Academy Award Winning composer AR Rahman.
Throughout 2002 to 2006 Shearman continued to orchestrate and conduct film scores, notably Calendar Girls Calender Girls (2003), Alfie (2004 film) (2004), Nanny McPhee (2005) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (2005). Additionally, Shearman conducted Mark Isham scores; The Black Dahlia (film) (2006), In the Valley of Elah (2007) and Reservation Road (2007). Further orchestrations of Doyle’s scores included As You Like It (2006 film) (2006) Eragon (film) (2006) The Last Legion (2007) and Kenneth Branagh’s Sleuth (2007 film) (2007). After Larry Ashmore’s retirement in 2007, Shearman and Doyle completed the orchestrations for all further Doyle scores largely alone.
Throughout 2005-2006, in addition to his film work, Shearman, together with Sam Babenia, wrote the songs and score for the musical Taj: The Story of the Inconsolable Emperor. In 2007 the musical went into pre-production with the Belgian theatre producer Geert Allaert, though due to escalating stage production costs, work ceased and the production was put on hold. In 2008 Shearman collaborated with American Composer Paul Cantelon on the scores for the films The Other Boleyn Girl (2008 film)' and Oliver Stone’s W. (film). The soundtrack for The Other Boleyn Girl was nominated for best soundtrack at the 2009 Classical Brit Awards.
Shearman orchestrated and conducted two Doyle scores for 2011, notable blockbusters Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In addition to this he conducted Mark Isham’s score for Dolphin Tale (2011) and orchestrated and conducted Lesley Barber’s score for The Moth Diaries (film) (2011).
In 2012 he completed orchestrations and conducted the score for Pixar’s Brave (2012 film), and more recently arranged the Brave orchestral suite for ‘Pixar in Concert’, a concert featuring the films and music of Disney Pixar, premiered by the San Francisco symphony orchestra in July 2012.
He continues to diversify, working in Film, Pop and Classical music genres.