ROGER NEILL - News & Bio
Roger Neill is a contemporary film and television composer, best known for his score to the academy award winning film “Beginners,” and his music for the long-running Fox animated series, “King of the Hill.” Neill, who holds a PhD from Harvard in music, has a vast award-winning music catalog, including the scores to more than twenty feature films, hundreds of television episodes, games, TV commercials, and even an operetta.
Roger’s recent film projects include Roman Coppola’s new feature, “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” starring Charlie Sheen. And premiering at Cannes this year was the Jerry Lewis drama, “Max Rose.” Roger acted as music supervisor and contributing composer alongside the legendary Michel Legrand.
His eclectic credits in film and television scoring span from Sofia Coppola’s “Marie-Antoinette,” to Paris Hilton’s “The Simple Life.” Other titles include “Tanner Hall,” and “Chicago Hope.” After scoring thirteen seasons of “King of the Hill,” Roger has continued to work in animation, scoring several series for adult swim on Cartoon Network.
Roger has become an in-demand composer for commercials, working with some of the biggest ad agencies throughout the globe with an impressive list of film directors, including Mike Mills (with whom he has collaborated several times for various campaigns), Roman Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, Rupert Saunders and Mike Judge.
Recently Roger has been working extensively in game music, primarily in association with renowned game composer Jesper Kyd. Together they have collaborated on many blockbuster game titles, such as Assassins Creed: Revelations, Borderlands 2, Darksiders 2, State of Decay, Heroes and Generals, and many others. Jesper and Neill also collaborate on “Métal Hurlant Chronicles,” a Franco-Belgian television science fiction anthology series now entering its second season.
As an arranger, orchestrator, conductor and collaborator, Roger has worked with a who’s who in the recording industry, including Beck, Michael Jackson, The Kronos Quartet, John Legend, Sondre Lerche, Mellow, Natalie Merchant, Spoon, Stereolab and David Sylvian. Roger has enjoyed a long-term relationship with the French electronica duo AIR, on record and on stage. He was conductor and arranger for a legendary orchestral concert with AIR at the Hollywood Bowl, followed more recently by a similar concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
Neill is a multi-instrumentalist and avid world music specialist, codified with studies in Swahili music in Mombasa and Zanzibar with Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany, considered the father of Kiswahili scholarship. Among the many instruments he plays are piano, acoustic and eclectic guitars and basses, a multitude of flutes and other wind instruments, exotic percussion, and an ever-increasing collection of fretted stringed instruments including the charango, cavaquinho, ukulele, dulcimer and dobro, among many others. All these instruments and more have figured prominently in Neill’s scores.
A Southern California native, Roger hails from El Cajon, a cultural backwater of eastern San Diego County where gun racks outnumber surf racks. He began play music at the age of nine, electric guitars in garage bands, flute in youth orchestras. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California, followed by graduate studies at Harvard. He is currently on faculty at Cal Poly Pomona, teaching courses in Music for Media, and Music Technology. Roger is the recipient of many ASCAP and BMI awards, as well as an Emmy for his work on King of the Hill, and an LA Weekly Theater Critics Musical of the Year Award for his operetta The Beastly Bombing.
Roger is represented by the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency: (818) 260-8500.