Thomas Newman comes from an extremely musical family. His father, Alfred Newman, composed the scores for the Battle of Midway, My Friend Flicka, Song of Bernadette, Gentleman's Agreement, All About Eve, and The Robe. His brother, David Newman, composed the music for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Cat in the Hat, Galaxy Quest and Ice Age. His uncle, Lionel Newman, won an Academy Award for his scoring of 1969's Hello, Dolly! His cousin, Randy Newman, composed the score for Monster's Ink.
Thomas Newman attended USC and studied composition and orchestration with Frederick Lesemann and noted film composer David Raskin. He studied privately with composer George Tremblay. Thomas completed his academic work at Yale and graduated with a masters degree in composition. He studied with Jacob Druckman, Bruce MacCombie and Robert Moore.
Once you've become familiar with Thomas Newman's work, it is very easy to distinguish his music, even if you have never heard the piece. He seamlessly blends orchestra with synthesized instruments, and instinctively adds elements of classical music, jazz, and popular music. Signatures of Thomas Newman's music are his use of tuned percussion, distinct melodies, and the use of piano in more sombre moments. Thomas Newman - Film Compositions: