Rachel Portman is a British composer of international fame. She became the first female composer to win an Academy Award, which she received for the score of Emma. She was also the first female composer to win a Primetime Emmy Award, which she received for the film, Bessie. She has received two further Academy Nominations for The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, which also earned her a Golden Globe Nomination.
Rachel has written over 100 scores for film, television and theatre, including Manchurian Candidate (Jonathan Demme), Oliver Twist (Roman Polanski), Hart’s War (Greg Hoblit), Only You (Norman Jewison), The Legend of Bagger Vance (Robert Redford), Beloved (Jonathan Demme), Benny and Joon (Jeremiah Chechik), Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh), Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek), Grey Gardens (Michael Sucsy), The Duchess (Saul Dibb), One Day (Lone Scherfig), The Vow (Michael Sucsy), Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Wayne Wang), The Lake House (Alejandro Agresti), Infamous (Douglas McGrath), Mona Lisa Smile (Mike Newell), Human Stain (Robert Benton), Chocolat (Lasse Hallstrom), Cider House Rules (Lasse Hallstrom), Belle (Amma Asante), Dolphin Tale 2 (Charles Martin Smith), Bessie (Dee Rees), and Race (Stephen Hopkins).
Rachel has written a musical of Little House on the Prairie as well as an opera of Saint Exupery’s, The Little Prince for Houston Grand Opera. For the BBC Proms concerts, Rachel was commissioned to write ‘The Water Diviner’, a dramatic choral symphony. Rachel wrote an orchestral piece entitled ‘Endangered’ performed at the World Environment Day Concert, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing.
Rachel was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010 and is an honourary fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.
Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score
1996 – EMMA
Primetime Emmy Award:
Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score)
2015 – BESSIE
BMI Film and TV Awards:
Richard Kirk Career Achievement Award
2000 – Best Original Score – CHOCOLAT
1999 – Best Original Score – LE REGOLE DELLA CASA DEL SIDRO
1991 – Best Original Television Music – ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT
1990 – Best Original Television Music – THE WOMAN IN BLACK
2000 – Best Original Score, Motion Picture – CHOCOLAT
2001 – Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture – CHOCOLAT
2000 – Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture – LE REGOLE DELLA CASA DEL SIDRO
2009 – Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Drama) – GREY GARDENS
2005 – Outstanding Music Direction – IL PICCOLO PRINCIPE
New York Women in Film and Television:
2000 – Muse Award
Flanders International Film Festival:
1999 – RATCATCHER
British Film Institute:
1988 – Young Composer of the Year