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Mychael Danna (born September 20, 1958) is a Canadian film score composer. He won both the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Original Score for Life of Pi. He has also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) in his work on World Without End: Medieval Life and Death Part 1 and 2.

Mychael Danna
Mychael Danna in Taiwan.jpg
Danna at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Taiwan in 2018.
Background information
Born (1958-09-20) September 20, 1958 (age 61)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1987–present

Life and careerEdit

Danna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but his family moved to Burlington, Ontario when he was four weeks old.[1] He is the brother of fellow composer Jeff Danna. He has been scoring films since his 1987 feature debut for Atom Egoyan's Family Viewing, a score which earned Danna the first of his thirteen Genie Award nominations. He has won five times for Achievement in Music - Original Score.[2] Danna is recognized as one of the pioneers of combining non-Western sound sources with orchestral and electronic minimalism in the world of film music. This reputation has led him to work with such directors as Atom Egoyan, Deepa Mehta, Terry Gilliam, Scott Hicks, Ang Lee, Gillies MacKinnon, James Mangold, Mira Nair, Billy Ray, Joel Schumacher, and Denzel Washington. His soundtrack for Ang Lee's Life of Pi earned two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Original Song Pi's Lullaby.

He studied music composition at the University of Toronto, winning the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship in 1985. Danna also served for five years as composer-in-residence at the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto (1987–1992). Works for dance include music for Dead Souls (Carbone Quatorze Dance Company, directed by Gilles Maheu 1996), and a score for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Gita Govinda (2001) based on the 1000-year-old classical Gita Govinda, with choreographer Nina Menon. In June 2014, Danna was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Toronto, for his career achievements in the field of music.[3]


Danna's wife Aparna is of Indian origin; the couple have two sons. He is the older brother of composer Jeff Danna.

Recent projectsEdit


Year Title Notes
1987 Family Viewing
1987 Caribe
1988 Murder One
1988 Blood Relations
1989 Speaking Parts
1989 Road to Avonlea TV series
1989 One Man Out
1989 Cold Comfort
1989 Without Work: Not by Choice Short Film
1989 Termini Station
1990 Still Life: The Fine Art of Murder
1991 The Adjuster
1991 Johann's Gift to Christmas TV Short series
1991 Montréal vu par... segment: "En passant"
1991 The Big Slice
1993 Hush Little Baby TV movie
1993 Gross Misconduct TV movie
1993 Ordinary Magic
1994 Exotica
1994 The Darling Family
1994 Narmada: A Valley Rises Documentary
1994 Dance Me Outside
1995 Johnny Mnemonic
1996 Dangerous Offender: The Marlene Moore Story TV movie
1996 Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
1996 Lilies
1997 The Ice Storm
1997 The Sweet Hereafter
1998 At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story
1999 The Boondock Saints With his brother Jeff Danna
1999 Girl, Interrupted
1999 Don't Think Twice Short Film
1999 Ride with the Devil
1999 Felicia's Journey
1999 8MM
1999 The Confession
2000 Bounce
2001 Hearts in Atlantis
2001 Monsoon Wedding
2001 The Hire: Chosen
2001 Green Dragon With his brother Jeff Danna
2002 Antwone Fisher
2002 The Guys
2002 Ararat
2003 The Snow Walker
2003 Shattered Glass
2003 Hulk Additional cue "Mother"
2004 Being Julia
2004 Vanity Fair
2005 Sohni Sapna
2005 Eve and the Fire Horse
2005 Tideland With his brother Jeff Danna
2005 Water Background score only
Genie Award for Best Original Score
2005 Capote
2005 Where the Truth Lies
2005 Aurora Borealis
2006 The Nativity Story
2006 Little Miss Sunshine
2006 Lonely Hearts
2007 Surf's Up
2007 Breach
2007 Fracture With his brother Jeff Danna
2008 Adoration
2008 Management
2008 Lakeview Terrace With his brother Jeff Danna
2009 (500) Days of Summer With Rob Simonsen
2009 Chloe
2009 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus With his brother Jeff Danna
2009 The Time Traveler's Wife
2011 Camelot TV series
With his brother Jeff Danna
2011 Moneyball
2012 Life of Pi Academy Award for Best Original Score
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Original Song ("Pi's Lullaby")
2013 Devil's Knot
2014 Transcendence[4]
2014 The Captive
2014 Tyrant TV series
With his brother Jeff Danna
2015 Sanjay's Super Team Short Film
2015 Remember
2015 The Good Dinosaur With his brother Jeff Danna
2016 Storks With his brother Jeff Danna
2016 Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk With his brother Jeff Danna
2017 The Breadwinner[5] With his brother Jeff Danna
2017 The Man Who Invented Christmas
2018 On the Basis of Sex
2019 A Dog's Way Home
2019 The Red Sea Diving Resort
2019 After the Wedding
2019 The Addams Family With his brother Jeff Danna
2020 Onward With his brother Jeff Danna
TBA Guest of Honour


  1. ^ "Life of Pi golden for Burlington's Mychael Danna". Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Canada's Awards Database". 2011-03-28. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  3. ^ "Convocation 2014: meet honorary grad Mychael Danna". Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Mychael Danna to Score Wally Pfister's 'Transcendence'". Film Music Reporter. December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  5. ^ "Mychael & Jeff Danna to Score 'The Breadwinner'". Film Music Reporter. Film Music Reporter. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.

Further readingEdit

  • Coleman, Lindsay (2017). "Mychael Danna Interview". In Coleman, Lindsay; Tillman, Joakim (eds.). Contemporary Film Music: Investigating Cinema Narratives and Composiiton. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 187–193. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-57375-9_12.
  • Golub, Peter; Jarzebowski, Katy (2017). "Mychael Danna: Music as Metaphor". In Coleman, Lindsay; Tillman, Joakim (eds.). Contemporary Film Music: Investigating Cinema Narratives and Composiiton. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 195–219. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-57375-9_13.

External linksEdit