Composer and orchestrator Jeff Atmajian, a 1984 alumnus of California State University, Fresno, returns to his alma mater Monday, Oct. 22, for a public discussion of “Film Scoring: Past and Present.”

His talk in the Music Building Concert Hall at Fresno State begins at 7 p.m. and is free.

From the perspective of a busy orchestrator – 140 films, 12 nominated for Oscars –Atmajian will talk about how the styles and processes of film scoring have changed since the 1940s.

Atmajian began his musical journey learning to play the piano when he was eight. By 14 he was composing and arranging and at 16 he added jazz piano to his classical training on the instrument. He graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Arts in composing and went to the University of Southern California film scoring program.

His career took off in 1986 when Atmajian met English orchestrator Christopher Palmer when they worked on “The Three Amigos” at a film scoring session in Los Angeles. That led to Atmajian living and working in Hollywood and in London.

It also led to collaborations with some of music’s best-known names, including Elmer Bernstein, Andre Previn, Sir Neville Marriner and Barbra Streisand and to work with major London orchestras on classical, pop and film recordings. His musical work has won awards and he has appeared in many prestigious festivals.

Atmajian’s projects for Sparrow Records Atmajian include “The Majesty and Glory of the Resurrection,” “The Redeemer” and “Blessed Assurance,” all of which he orchestrated and conducted. In 2006, he composed the score for the documentary “Screamers” an award-winning documentary about the Armenian genocide.

Atmajian also has worked with Sir Christopher Plummer, Lord Richard Attenborough, Al Pacino, Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron on movie projects. His film credits include, “Oliver Twist,” “The Shaggy Dog,” “King Kong,” “Freedomland,” “Groundhog Day,” “Chocolat,” “Waterworld,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “The Sixth Sense.”

Atmajian’s presentation Monday is part of the Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series, which began in September. The series brings back to campus alumni who have made significant marks in the cultural arts.

For more information, contact Lee Ann Jansen at 559.278.1877.

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