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About David Hirschfelder
BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee David Hirschfelder is an Australian film composer, songwriter, and keyboardist. A onetime member of Little River Band, Hirschfelder recorded three albums with the group in the mid-'80s before joining John Farnham's backing band for several years as he transitioned to more and more scoring work. After writing his first television music in 1990, he went on to compose scores for films such as Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom (1992) and Australia (2008) and Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner (2014). He earned Oscar nominations in 1997 and 1999 for Shine and Elizabeth.
Born in Ballarat, Victoria in 1960, Hirschfelder was a member of several music groups over the course of the '80s and '90s, including not only Little River Band but Dragon and the jazz fusion groups Pyramid and CAB. He was keyboardist for Little River Band from 1983-1986, recording and touring for the albums The Net (1983), Playing to Win (1985), and No Reins (1986). He then joined John Farnham's band as keyboardist through the early '90s, co-writing some songs for Farnham along the way. In the meantime, he received his first credits as main composer for the TV movie Shadows of the Heart and the series Skirts, both in 1990. His theatrical debut was also director Baz Luhrmann's first film, the dance-themed Strictly Ballroom (1992). It won Hirschfelder a BAFTA Award for Best Original Film Score.
He worked on a mix of feature films, documentaries, TV movies, and shorts before landing the biopic Shine (1996). Starring Geoffrey Rush as pianist David Helfgott, it featured Hirschfelder's piano performances on the soundtrack and earned him his first Oscar nomination and a second BAFTA nomination. Highlights of his work to round out the '90s included the movies Sliding Doors (1998) and Elizabeth (1998). The latter won him another BAFTA and a second Academy Award nomination.
Hirschfelder's score for the Diane Keaton comedy Hanging Up was released by Varèse Sarabande in 2000, and he composed music for no less than a half-dozen entries in the BlackJack TV-movie franchise in the mid-2000s. In 2008, he reunited with Luhrmann for the epic historical drama Australia. The CGI adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole followed in 2010, and his subsequent work included music for The Railway Man (2013), Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner (2014), A Street Cat Named Bob (2016), and the TV mini-series House of Bond (2017). ~ Marcy Donelson
- Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
- Nov 18, 1960
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