Recipient of the Hollywood Film Festival's first Outstanding Music in Film Visionary Award, a Grammy nominee for his 2005 CD "Orchestralli," and a 2003 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stewart Copeland — the former drummer and founder of The Police — has been responsible for some of the film world's most innovative and groundbreaking scores. His career includes the sale of more than 60 million records worldwide, and numerous awards, including five Grammy awards.
Copeland moved beyond the rock arena in the mid-1980s when he returned to his classical roots with creative pursuits in concert and film music. His numerous film scores include Oliver Stone's "Wall Street," the seminal score for the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack of Francis Ford Coppola's "Rumble Fish," the score for Bruno Barreto's Oscar-nominated "Four Days in September" and his Emmy nomination for the Showtime pilot and series "Dead Like Me." His work in television includes contributions to "The Equalizer," "Babylon V," and most recently "Desperate Housewives." The rise, subsequent success, and ultimate demise of The Police over an eight-year period were all recorded and kept as a video diary in 8mm film by Copeland. That diary became the film "Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and debuted on the Showtime network. In 2009, Copeland composed an original evening—length score for the theatrical arena show "Ben Hur Live," which premiered at London's O2 Arena and runs in Rome and Cologne in 2011.
Copeland's most recent concert works include Gamelan D'Drum
, commissioned and premiered by the Dallas Symphony and world percussion group D'Drum; and Monster Just Needed Love
, an orchestral passacaglia premiered in September 2012. London's Royal Academy of Music presented the European premiere of Gamelan D'Drum
in July 2012, and the Cleveland Orchestra presented the piece in October 2012. Germany's Elbtonal Percussion recently premiered and recorded Copeland's new percussion ensemble works Mikrokosmos
(on Dude Records). In May 2012, Long Beach Opera offered the North American premiere of The Tell Tale Heart
. Other works include the ballets Lear
for the San Francisco Ballet and Prey
for Ballet Oklahoma; Arise Awake
for youth chorus and orchestra for the Brighton Festival; the opera Holy Blood and Crescent Moon
for the Cleveland Opera, Horse Opera
for Channel Four, and the chamber opera The Cask of Amontillado
(after Edgar Allan Poe's timeless tale). London's ROH2 commissioned and premiered Copeland's second Poe chamber opera, The Tell Tale Heart
, as part of its Opera Shots series in April 2011. Celeste
, for violin and piano, was commissioned by and premiered at the 2008 Savannah Music Festival with violinist Daniel Hope. La Jolla Summerfest commissioned Retail Therapy
, which was premiered as part of a Copeland portrait concert in August 2009.
Copeland continues to perform having made his percussion solo debut with the Seattle Symphony in a concert with his own compositions. He made a similar debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in February 2016, performing the world premiere of his Tyrant's Crush: Concerto for Trapset and Orchestra
. Copeland tours with groups such as the percussion quartet Ensemble Bash and his 20-piece ensemble Orchestralli, which presents concert arrangements of his original scores.
Notable WorksTyrant's Crush: Concerto for Trapset and Orchestra
— Poltroons in Paradise
— Monster Just Needed Love (but ate the children anyway)
— Over the Wall (or up against it)Selections from Mikrokosmos for percussion
— Dance Ants
— Dog Dreams
— Tonga ToysBEN-HUR, A Tale of Christ score for drum kit and orchestra for MGM's silent classic film
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