‘Black Panther’ conductor, orchestrator was 60 – The Hollywood Reporter


John Ashton Thomas, the British composer, arranger, conductor and orchestrator who contributed to the Oscar winning score of Black Panther and worked on over 160 other films, has passed away. He was 60 years old.

Thomas’ death on October 4 was announcement by music publisher Manners McDade and Trinity Laban, the college in London where he had taught since 1992 as the longest-serving member of its composition department. The cause of death was not immediately known.

An accomplished pianist with a background in jazz training, Thomas has collaborated with composer John Powell – his former classmate at Trinity College of Music – for two decades across nearly four dozen films, including How to train your dragon (2010), for which Powell received an Oscar nomination for best score.

The pair also teamed up on the film directed by Paul Greengrass. Bourne’s supremacy (2004), United 93 (2006) and Bourne’s ultimatum (2007); Three Ice Age movies and two Rio films by Carlos Saldanha; happy feet and Kung Fu movies; and The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002), Italian Job (2003), X-Men: The Final Showdown (2006) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), among other efforts.

Thomas has partnered with composer James Newton Howard on films including The last air Master (2010), Bourne’s legacy (2012) and payments from the Hunger games, Fantastic beasts and Maleficent franchisees.

More recently he worked on Captain marvel (2019), Dora and the lost city of gold (2019), Call of the wild (2020), Tammy Faye’s eyes (2021) and Operation Minced Meat, scheduled for release next year.

He also wrote arrangements for the Oscars for several years.

Born March 28, 1961 in Plymouth, Devon, England, Thomas was a young chorister at Exeter Cathedral, then studied at Trinity College and Goldsmiths College at the University of London.

He served as the orchestrator on The Muppets’ Christmas Carol (1992) and Thomas and the Magic Railway (2000) before first working with Powell on Rat race (2001).

He and composer Ludwig Göransson collaborated on Thunder in the tropics (2008), then reunited for Black Panther (2018) and Troll world tour (2020).

He has recently conducted for Christine McVie, Diana Ross, Michael Buble and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

In 2004, Thomas received an honorary associate’s title from the Royal Academy of Music, where he had taught sonic jazz and transcription before leaving to pursue opportunities in Hollywood.

“As a wonderful human being and a mentor to budding young artists, John possessed the rarest type of passion, generosity and skill that we can only feel extremely lucky to have benefited from,” said Nick Smart. , director of jazz at the school. said in a press release.


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