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Rachel Portman


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Haslemere, England, UK

Rachel Mary Berkeley Portman (born 11 December 1960 in Haslemere, England, UK) is a British composer, best known for scoring films. She was educated at Charterhouse School and Worcester College, Oxford.

Portman has composed the scores for dozens of feature films, including “Emma”, “Chocolat”, “Oliver Twist”, “The Cider House Rules”, “The Duchess”, and “Never Let Me Go”.

She was the first female composer to win an Academy Award in the category of Best Musical or Comedy Score (for “Emma” in 1996). Portman was also nominated for Academy Awards for her scores for “The Cider House Rules” in 1999 and “Chocolat” in 2000.

An unused score of hers was composed for the film Dangerous Beauty (George Fenton replaced her, but some of her material still remains in the film). For television, she composed the score for all thirteen episodes of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller and two episodes of The Jim Henson Hour (“Monster Maker” and “Living with Dinosaurs”).
Her other works include a children’s opera, The Little Prince (which was later adapted for television) and Little House on the Prairie, a musical based upon the Laura Ingalls Wilder books Little House on the Prairie (2008). Portman was commissioned to write a piece of choral music for the BBC Proms series in August 2007.


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