Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Joel McNeely

composer & conductor

Joel McNeely is an Emmy® Award-winning composer and conductor with more than 100 motion picture and television credits.

As a composer for film and television, Joel has worked with some of Hollywood’s most influential producers and directors including James Cameron and George Lucas. Some of his film credits include I Know Who Killed Me, Holes, The Tinkerbell Movie, Lilo and Stitch 2, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, Mulan 2, Return to Neverland (all for Disney), Ghosts of the Abyss (20th Century Fox), Uptown Girls (MGM), Virus (Universal), The Avengers (Warner Bros.), Air Force One (Columbia Tri-Star), Wild America (Morgan Creek) and Terminal Velocity (Touchstone).

Television credits include James Cameron’s Dark Angel (Fox), Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal (CBS mini-series), Buffalo Soldiers (CBS) and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (ABC).

As a conductor, Joel recently led the Chicago Symphony at Orchestra Hall in a performance of Bernard Herrmann’s music for Alfred Hitchcock films. He also conducted this concert with the Lyon National Orchestra in France and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London’s Barbican Hall. Joel has conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in an award-winning series of re-recordings of classic film scores for Varese Sarabande Records. He conducted the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of Uri Caine’s Concerto for Two Pianos, with Jeffrey Kahane and the composer as soloists. He has also worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Joel received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), as well as an ASCAP Film and Television Award (Air Force One) and a Gramophone Magazine Award for his recording of the motion picture score of Vertigo. He was given the Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Miami and the Path of Inspiration Award from the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), a Grammy Award for Outstanding Classical Crossover Album (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and an Annie Award for Outstanding Music in an Animated Feature (Return to Neverland).

Born into a musical family in Madison, Wisconsin, Joel’s interest in music began at an early age. At age 14, he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and is currently a member of the Interlochen Board of Trustees. After graduating from Interlochen, Joel headed to the University of Miami, where he studied jazz composition and performance. He then attended the Eastman School of Music where he earned a Masters Degree in composition.

Joel lives in Hidden Hills, California, and is married to Margaret Batjer, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. They are the proud parents of Joshua and Claire.

Joel McNeely

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