Jan A.P. Kaczmarek Dies: Oscar-Winning ‘Finding Neverland’ Composer Was 71

Jan A.P. Kaczmarek Dies: Oscar-Winning ‘Finding Neverland’ Composer Was 71

Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, the Polish composer who won a Oscar for his score of the 2004 film Finding Neverland, died today in Krakow following a years-long battle with Multiple System Atrophy. He was 71.

His death was announced bythe Polish Music Foundation.

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A prolific composer for film and television, Kaczmarek’s credits beginning in the 1980s and building momentum in the 1990s and 2000s. Among the titles: Total Eclipse, Washington Square, Aimee and Jaguar, Unfaithful, Soldier’s Girl, The Visitor, City Island, Get Low and Paul, Apostle of Christ.

But it was his score for Finding Neverland that he’ll perhaps be most remembered for. Nominated for both BAFTA and Golden Globe awards, the score for Marc Forster’s J.M. Barrie 2004 biopic won the Oscar for Best Original Score the following year. The win made Kaczmarek an international presence in cinema.

Born in Konin in 1953, Kaczmarek abandoned his legal training in the 1970s to compose music for an experimental theater company headed by theater director Jerzy Grotowski. He soon formed his own orchestral ensemble and toured Europe in the ’70s and ’80s.

In the late 1980s, Kaczmaraek was writing music for the stage, including Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum. He won a Drama Desk Award for his music for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s 1992 revival of Tis Pity She’s a Whore with Val Kilmer and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Kaczmaraek is survived by wife Alexandra and three children.


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