Thomas Montgomery Newman (born March 11, 1954) is an American composer and conductor. The son of the very prolific Music/AlfredNewman and the Mississippi-born Martha Louise Montgomery, he attended the University of Southern California and then went on to receive a master’s degree in music at Yale University.

A classical training, inspired by Newman's desire to master the piano and violin, led to an informal Hollywood apprenticeship in the early 1980's due his family ties with his uncle Music/LionelNewman, who was head of music at [[Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox Fox]] during Thomas' high school and college years. The apprentice had previously watched Music/JohnWilliams conduct and record several major scores, including ''Film/TheToweringInferno'' and ''Film/ThePoseidonAdventure'' in the early 1970's. Through that connection, Newman was responsible for orchestrating Darth Vader's death scene cue for ''Film/ReturnoftheJedi'' in 1983, although Newman claims that Williams' composition was so complete that his own influence on the task was minimal.

Newman spent time writing for off-Broadway productions, theatre, and pop bands such as "The Innocents" and "Tokyo 77." He was mentored by Broadway great Music/StephenSondheim and backed into a film scoring career when producer Scott Rudin hired him as a musical assistant on the 1984 teen-angst drama Reckless. He wound up scoring the movie, the first of a batch of hip and popular films to boast Newman scores, including ''Film/RevengeOfTheNerds'' the same year, ''DesperatelySeekingSusan'' in 1985, and ''Film/TheLostBoys'' in 1987.

His breakthrough came in 1995 when he earned 2 Academy Award nominations in film scoring, ''Film/LittleWomen'' (1994) and ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'' (1994). He was the only double nominee that year. Some of his notable film scoring includes, ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' (1999), ''Film/PayItForward'' (2000), ''Film/ErinBrockovich'' (2000), ''Film/RoadToPerdition'' (2002), ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' (2003) and ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' (2008). 2015 will also mark his first collaboration with Creator/StevenSpielberg, with Newman composing the score for his Cold War thriller ''Film/BridgeOfSpies''.

Newman tents to favor minimalist composition, relying heavily on {{leitmotif}} and simple chord progressions. He likes to vary the instrumentation in his scores, ranging from full orchestra to percussion-only music. He is also fond of incorporating unusual instruments such as the zither, hurdy-gurdy, psaltery and hammered dulcimer, or unexpected sounds, like Aboriginal chants and the chirping of cicadas. The composer declared that he has "an interest in mundane experimentation."

Newman has received 13 Academy Award nominations but has yet to receive an Oscar. He is the most nominated living composer never to have won an Academy Award (the late Alex North had 14 nominations without a win); however, Thomas has won 5 Grammy Awards (one for ''American Beauty'' and two each for ''WALL•E'' and the theme from ''Series/SixFeetUnder''[[note]] for Instrumental Composition and Instrumental Arrangement[[/note]]), two [=BAFTA=]s (for ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' and ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'') and an Emmy for ''Six Feet Under''.

Some of his film scores are:

* ''WesternAnimation/FindingDory''
* ''Film/SavingMrBanks''
* ''Film/TheIronLady''
* ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''
* ''Film/TheHelp''
* ''Film/{{Brothers 2009}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE''
* ''Film/{{A Series of Unfortunate Events|2004}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo''
* ''Film/RoadToPerdition''
* ''Film/ErinBrockovich''
* ''Film/AmericanBeauty''
* ''Film/MeetJoeBlack''
* ''Film/TheGreenMile''
* ''Film/TheHorseWhisperer''
* ''Oscar and Lucinda''
* ''Film/{{Phenomenon}}''
* ''Film/ThePeopleVsLarryFlynt''
* ''Up Close and Personal''
* ''Unstrung Heroes''
* ''Film/HowToMakeAnAmericanQuilt''
* ''Film/LittleWomen''
* ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption''
* ''Film/ThePlayer''
* ''Film/ScentOfAWoman''
* ''Film/FriedGreenTomatoes''
* ''Film/TheGreatOutdoors''
* ''Film/TheLostBoys''
* ''Film/JumpinJackFlash''
* ''Film/GirlsJustWantToHaveFun''
* ''Film/DesperatelySeekingSusan''
* ''Reckless''

Television Compositions

* ''Series/SixFeetUnder''
* ''Theatre/AngelsInAmerica''

He, his father Alfred, his brother David, and his cousin Randy [[AwesomeMusic/TheNewmans have their own page dedicated to their exquisite music]], as well as [[AwesomeMusic/{{Pixar}} a page in Pixar]].