Christopher Willis is our guest this month at the LA Ravel, and Chris talks about his work on Mickey Mouse and The Death of Stalin.
Chris also joined us for our ongoing study of Debussy’s La Mer, and the page for that event can be found here.
About Christopher Willis
Christopher Willis is an Emmy-nominated, multi-talented composer working in the mediums of film, television, and games. His strong classical music background and musicological approach to composition have quickly established him as a leading voice in orchestral scoring, and his adaptability to any musical style or culture has put him at the forefront of his field, particularly in animation.
Christopher is known for his work on HBO’s hit comedy series, Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. His score for Armando Iannucci’s second feature film, political satire The Death of Stalin, has garnered much praise and a nomination for Best Music at the 2017 British Independent Film Awards. The film premiered at TIFF 2017 and made its U.S. debut at Sundance 2018. It will be released wide in the U.S. on March 9th, 2018.
A favorite choice of Disney creatives, he currently scores The Lion Guard and the multiple Emmy Award-winning Disney Mickey Mouse shorts. For the latter, he won the Annie Award for Music in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production for three consecutive years (2014–2016) and has received nominations in 2017 and 2018. His work on Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special earned him a 2017 Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics category, for the song “Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling”.
Christopher was born in Australia and grew up in the UK. He trained principally as a classical pianist and musicologist, attending the Royal Academy of Music in London and completing a PhD in Musicology at the University of Cambridge. His love of eighteenth-century music led to his doctoral dissertation on the music of Domenico Scarlatti.
In 2007 he relocated to California to pursue a film music career. He assisted on many Hollywood feature film scores as an additional music composer, working with renowned composers including Carter Burwell, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rupert Gregson-Williams, and Henry Jackman, before becoming a composer in his own right. He contributed significant music to a number of fan-favorite films, including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, X-Men: First Class, Shrek Forever After, Winnie the Pooh, and the Oscar-winning animated short, Feast.