Titanic Composer James Horner Dies, Aged 61

Oscar-winning orchestrator of best-selling film scores passes away following fatal private plane crash in Southern California

Renowned American film music composer and conductor James Horner has died at the age of 61 following a plane crash north of Santa Barbara, California.

A trained pilot in addition to orchestrating over 100 film scores across a 35 year career, the single-engine aircraft was one of several registered to Horner. There was no one else on board.

The composer earned the first of his ten Academy Award® nominations in 1986 for his work on James Cameron's Aliens after starting out scoring B-movies in the late seventies.

Further compositions for acclaimed features like Field of Dreams, Apollo 13 and Braveheart elevated him to being one of the industry's most respected and sought after figures before Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On' and the global smash Titanic soundtrack that spawned it won him Oscars® for Best Original Song and Best Original Dramatic Score. Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture remains the highest selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time.

Horner once again teamed up with Cameron for 2009 blockbuster Avatar. Dedicating two years solely to the project, the fantasy epic surpassed Titanic to become the highest-grossing film of all time, thanks in no small part to his Oscar®-nominated score.

His more recent back catalogue includes superhero reboot The Amazing Spiderman while several works such as critically-tipped boxing drama Southpaw are still forthcoming.