Lee Holdridge was our guest speaker at the ASMAC luncheon on Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Lee Holdridge spent his early years in Costa Rica, beginning music studies on the violin at the age of ten with Hugo Mariani, then the conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. At fifteen – now determined to be a composer -he moved to Boston to finish high school and study composition with Henry Lasker. Later, he moved to New York to continue his music studies and begin his professional career as a composer. While in New York, he wrote chamber works, rock pieces, songs, theatre music and background scores for short films. Holdridge’s successes in New York came to the attention of Neil Diamond who brought him to Los Angeles to write arrangements for Diamond’s forthcoming albums. A string of gold and platinum hits followed, which led to Diamond and Holdridge collaborating on the film score for “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”
Since that time Lee has scored numerous film and T.V. hits including films such as “Splash,” “Big Business,” “Mr. Mom,” “Micki & Maude,””16 Days Of Glory,” “The Other Side Of The Mountain Pt. II,” “Mustang Country,” “The Beastmaster,” “Jeremy” (Cannes Festival award winner), “Sylvester,” “A Tigers’ Tale” and “El Pueblo Del Sol.” T.V. shows include “Moonlighting,” “Beauty and the Beast,” the complete eight hour remake of “East of Eden,” “The Tenth Man,” “Dreamer of Oz,” Hallmark Hall Of Fame’s “One Against the Wind” and “The Story Lady.” Holdridge also scored the epic film “Old Gringo,” and “Pastime,” winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and Best Director Award at the Houston Film Festival.
Holdridge began a very successful collaboration with Moriah Films, the film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with the Academy Award winning documentary feature film “The Long Way Home.” More recently, he scored the motion pictures “Puerto Vallarta Squeeze,” “Unlikely Heroes,” the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary award winner “Beautiful Music,” the disturbing documentary feature “Ever Again,” the Oscar winning Warner Bros. documentary feature “Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of The Kindertransport,” the TNT mini-series “The Mists of Avalon,” the NBC mini-series 10.5, the PBS Emmy nominated series “American Family,”
Christopher Reeve’s “The Brooke Ellison Story” for the Arts and Entertainment Network and “Saving Milly” for CBS. He scored Moriah Films feature length biography of Simon Wiesenthal entitled “I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal,” which had its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007. He recently completed the score for the moving documentary feature film “Brothers at War.”
Lee Holdridge has worked with many major recording artists having written, arranged and conducted for Placido Domingo, Barbra Streisand, Brian May of Queen, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, John Denver, Neil Sedaka, Daniel Rodriguez, Al Jarreau, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Jane Olivor and many others. With an extensive background in both the concert and theater fields his recent works include “Ode to Orion” premiered by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and “Concierto Para Mendez” premiered by the Los Angeles Opera.
Holdridge’s told about the ASMAC audience about his career with great humility, expressing his profound gratitude for the opportunities he has had in music. He spoke about how in our business many are serious about generating that “spirit of taking care of one another” and how musicians especially look after one another. He said he believes that if the music is inherently good music, it will make it to the surface, although this is a very rough time to start a career and the competition is stiff.