One of the most popular tourist attractions LA has to offer: the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame. The 15 blocks down Hollywood Boulevard glisten with the stars of yesterday and today, giving fans a chance to stand in the presence of their favorite entertainers. For your next trip to Hollywood and Highland, we made a list of composers who have earned their star on the Walk-of-Fame for their work in film and directions on where to find them.
6200 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Leonard Bernstein is considered one of the most talented musicians in American history. Remembered prominently for his work as a conductor, he was also a pianist, music educator, humanitarian, and a gifted composer, writing music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, opera, ballet, and most notably for film and theater. His score for 1954’s On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando earned him an Academy Award nomination, but it was his musicals – Wonderful Town, Candide, and West Side Story – that made him an icon.
Watch the prologue from the film version of West Side Story and a performance of Somewhere sung here by Nadine Sierra.
7065 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
With over 400 works for film and television, Ennio Morricone is considered one of the most prolific film composers of all time. The Italian composer gained international fame for scoring Westerns, with his main theme for The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly considered one of the most recognizable pieces in film history. He received his first Oscar nomination in 1979 for the score to Days in Heaven, but wouldn’t receive his first Academy Award until 2016 for scoring Quentin Tarantino’s Revisionist Western, The Hateful Eight. Morricone has also written a number of pieces that tug at that heart strings, including the theme from 1988’s Cinema Paradiso.
Watch here as he conducts the piece at San Marcos square in Venice.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
6284 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Ignacy Jan Paderewski may not be as recognizable as the other composers on the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame, but he’s certainly influential. The Polish pianist and composer was also a prominent voice for Polish independence during World War I. In 1919, Paderewski was appointed the new nation’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending the war and recognizing an independent Poland. He returned to music after less than a year in office, touring as a pianist and leaving a legacy of over 70 orchestral, instrumental, and vocal works.
Watch him perform his Minuet in G in the 1937 film Moonlight Sonata.
1708 Vine St Los Angeles, CA 90028
One of the first to compose original music during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Alfred Newman is considered one of the “three godfathers of film music” along with Max Steiner and Dimitri Tiomkin. He’s also one of the most prolific and successful film composers, scoring for over 200 films and winning nine Academy Awards out of 45 nominations. And if that’s not enough, he’s part of a large and gifted musical family – Lionel, Emil, Thomas, David, and Randy – with over 90 Oscar nominations combined, all for Film Scoring, Arrangement, or Original Song. Although his scores include music for the films Airport, The King and I, The Diary of Anne Frank, and How the West Was Won, he might be best known today for writing the fanfare for 20th Century Fox.
Watch this performance of the fanfare and the Main Theme from How the West Was Won.
6752 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
A native of Los Angeles, Jerry Goldsmith remains one of the most respected composers of film music. With a career that spanned over five decades, he wrote music for some of our favorite films including Alien, Poltergeist, The Omen, Star Trek: Voyager, not to mention that his scores for Chinatown and Planet of the Apes were listed as two of the top 25 film scores of all time by the American Film Institute. Like Alfred Newman, he composed an iconic fanfare for Universal Pictures that we’re sure you’ll recognize.
6908 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Composer Hans Zimmer has come a long way since his time on the new wave band The Buggles. And in a sense, video did kill this radio star as he transitioned from pop musician to one of the most sought-after film composers. His works include some of the biggest blockbusters of the last few decades – Dunkirk, Inception, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and The Lion King for which he won the Academy-Award for Best Original Score.
Watch this incredible performance from his Oscar-nominated score for the film Gladiator.
1559 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Max Steiner’s importance to film music is unparalleled. As one of the first composers to write original music for film, he’s referred to as “the father of film music.” His over 300 scores include Casablanca, The Informer, Gone with the Wind, and 1933’s King Kong, the latter two considered two of the top 25 scores ever.
One of his three Academy Awards comes from this beautiful score to 1942’s Now, Voyager starring Bette Davis.
7083 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Elmer Bernstein was a musical prodigy whose dreams of being a concert hall pianist and composer ended when he enlisted in the Army during World War II. He was, however, able to find a new skill while in the service: composing music for propaganda films for the Army Air Force. What came out of that was a film music career spanning more than five decades and including critically-acclaimed films like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Ten Commandments, and The Magnificent Seven, to comedies like Ghostbusters, Airplane!, and Animal House.
Watch this performance of the iconic theme from The Magnificent Seven conducted by the composer – who surprisingly does not yet have a star on the Walk-of-Fame – John Williams.
Bonus: Gustavo Dudamel
6752 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Technically the star was given to him in the category of Live Performance, but we added in Gustavo Dudamel – Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic – as a bonus for composing the score to the 2013 film, The Liberator. The biopic is about the life of Simon Bolivar, who led Venezuela and much of Latin America to independence from the Spanish Empire. Dudamel was only going to be a musical adviser for the film, but after playing some ideas on the piano for Director Alberto Arvelo, he was told “I’m sorry, my friend, but you became the composer of this film.” In 2019, Dudamel became the first Venezuelan to earn a star on the Walk-of-Fame. He ended his ceremony with some powerful words:
“There are billions of stars in the universe. There are thousands of stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Yet each star shines brightly on its own and has the ability to inspire and motivate. It reminds us that each of us has a purpose. All of us can make a difference and we share in the responsibility to light the way so that others may follow in our footsteps.”