Born in west Sussex, England, Rachel Portman began composing at age 14 and read music at Oxford University. She gained experience writing music for drama in BBC and Channel 4 films including Mike Leigh's Four Days In July and Jim Henson's Storyteller series.
Her extensive film work includes scores for Never Let me Go, The Joy Luck Club, Benny and June, and the Manchurian Candidate. She won an Academy award for her score for Emma and Academy nominations for Chocolat and The Cider House Rules.
She has written a musical of Little House on the Prairie as well as an opera of Saint Exupery's The Little Prince for Houston Grand Opera and The Water Diviner, a dramatic choral symphony commissioned for the BBC Proms concerts. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.
Rachel lives in London with her three daughters.