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Michael Kamen
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Michael Kamen

Michael Kamen (April 15, 1948 - November 18, 2003) was an American composer (especially of film scores), orchestral arranger, song writer, and session musician.

Kamen was born in New York City, USA and studied at The New York High School of Music & Art, then Juilliard's School for Music Dance and Drama in New York, where he learned to play the oboe.

He founded the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble in the late 1960s, which played classical-rock music presaging bands such as Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). Kamen played oboe and keyboards as well as composing. One of his songs Sing Lady Sing, was renamed Them Changes and parlayed into a hit by Buddy Miles.

He worked briefly with Leonard Bernstein, when his rock ensemble appeared at one of Bernstein's concerts for young people.

His successes include his work with Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Roger Waters (he is one of the few people to have been invited to work with both former Floyd members, after their acrimonious split), Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Metallica, Herbie Hancock, Bryan Adams and Sting.

Kamen wrote eleven ballets, and provided scores for the films Brazil, X-Men, , Licence to Kill and the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard series, plus many others. He was nominated for two Academy Awards and won three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, two Ivor Novello awards, an Annie and an Emmy. In television, his best known work was on the 1985 BBC Television serial Edge of Darkness, on which he collaborated with Eric Clapton to write the score. The pair were awarded with a BAFTA Award for Best Original TV Music for their work.

In 1990 he joined many other guests for Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlin.

Kamen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997, but died, reportedly, from a heart attack.

He was survived by his wife, Sandra Keenan-Kamen and daughters Sasha and Zoe.

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