Shirley Walker

Shirley Walker (April 10, 1945 - November 30, 2006) was an American film and television composer and conductor. She was one of the few female film score composers working in Hollywood. Walker was the first female composer to earn a solo score credit on a major Hollywood motion picture and according to the Los Angeles Times, will be remembered as a pioneer for women in the film industry. She wrote her film scores entirely by hand. ...show more

Shirley Walker (April 10, 1945 - November 30, 2006) was an American film and television composer and conductor. She was one of the few female film score composers working in Hollywood. Walker was the first female composer to earn a solo score credit on a major Hollywood motion picture and according to the Los Angeles Times, will be remembered as a pioneer for women in the film industry. She wrote her film scores entirely by hand.

She always orchestrated and conducted her own scores by herself. Walker was born in Napa, California on April 10, 1945. Walker was a piano soloist with the San Francisco Symphony during high school, and later attended San Francisco State University on a piano scholarship. She studied music composition under Roger Nixon and piano studies with Harald Logan of Berkeley, California.

For several years, she wrote jingles and composed for industrial films. Walker's career in film began in 1979, when she was hired to play the synthesizers on Carmine Coppola's score for Apocalypse Now. In 1992, Walker became the first female composer to earn a solo score credit on a major Hollywood motion picture - for John Carpenter's Memoirs of an Invisible Man (one of Carpenter's few movies he did not score himself - Walker later collaborated with Carpenter on Escape From L.A.). Shirley Walker served as composer for numerous productions, including films such as Willard, the Final Destination trilogy of movies, and television series such as Falcon Crest, Space: Above and Beyond, China Beach, and The Flash. ...show less