Craig Armstrong


Composer Craig Armstrong is equally comfortable bringing his talents to the contemporary classical or pop music arenas, which may explain why he's become a trusted collaborator of filmmaker Baz Luhrmann; he composed and constructed the scores for Luhrmann's acclaimed genre-spanning romances Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge. Born in Scotland, Armstrong studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1981, his efforts as a student composer earned him both the Harvey Lohr Scholarship and the Charles Lucas Award; the following year, his skills as a pianist earned him the GLAA Award as Young Jazz Musician of the Year. Armstrong became a student composer in residence at London Contemporary Dance School, and after graduating, he received commissions to compose new works for a variety of classical ensembles in the U.K., as well as scoring several plays for Scotland's Tron Theater. In the late '80s, Armstrong began studying electronic music, and his interests in this area led him into a second career in pop music; while Armstrong continued to write contemporary art pieces and theater scores, there was an increasing demand for his work as a producer and arranger, and he contributed to sessions for such artists as U2, Tina Turner, Madonna, and Massive Attack. The latter proved particularly fortuitous, as it brought Armstrong in contact with noted music producer Nellee Hooper; Hooper had been hired by director Baz Luhrmann to score his modern-dress adaptation Romeo + Juliet, and Armstrong was brought aboard to write additional music for the film. Armstrong had already cut his teeth in film work orchestrating scores for several films (including Golden Eye and Batman Forever) and writing music for television; his acclaimed work on Romeo + Juliet led to several solo film-composing assignments, including Orphans, Plunkett and Macleane, and Kiss of the Dragon. Armstrong found himself working with Baz Luhrmann again when he was invited to score the film Moulin Rouge; the film's ambitious blend of pop songs from various eras and lush original music from Armstrong won him the Best Original Score Award at the 2001 Golden Globes, and 2001's Composer of the Year prize at the American Film Institute Awards. In addition to his busy schedule of film projects, commissions for new art pieces, and producing and arranging for pop musicians, Armstrong has released two albums of his own, which blend his love of classical music and his ear for modern pop, 1998's {^The Space Between Us} and 2002's {^As If to Nothing}. ~ Rovi

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