Golden Globe nominated composer Alex Heffes had an unusual education at a small specialist music school in London where he was immersed in music every day from an early age. It was here that he fell in love with the idea of being a composer. After graduating from Oxford with a first-class degree he first worked as an arranger, then writer on projects covering the musical spectrum from steel band to symphony orchestra with artists such as Elton John and members of Blur.
It was his scores to Kevin Macdonald's Academy Award-winning films One Day in September, The Last King of Scotland, BAFTA-winning Touching The Void that brought him to international attention. His reputation as a composer who is truly at home with the orchestra as well as electronics has given him a unique and unusually varied output.
He received his first BAFTA nomination for his score to the HBO drama Tsunami: The Aftermath and has gone on to score across an incredible variety of genres including Charles Ferguson's Academy Award-winning Inside Job, the US No.1 box office movie The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Hardwicke's fantasy thriller Red Riding Hood, Peter Webber’s World War II drama Emperor starring Tommy Lee Jones, Escape Plan starring Silvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and recently Stephen Frears' biopic of Lance Armstrong The Program.
He collaborated with director Tim Burton on his screen adaptation of Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. His score to State of Play starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck featured collaboration with classic British rock producer Flood and during the scoring of The Last King of Scotland, Alex travelled to Uganda to record and produce many of the bands featured on the soundtrack.
His score to the short film Boy was featured at the opening ceremony of the Olympic velodrome at the 2012 London Olympics. Alex’s score to Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom which features vocals from South African legend Caiphus Semenya was nominated for a Golden Globe.
His scores have met wide critical acclaim. The Los Angeles Daily news said of The Last King of Scotland it has “the best and weirdest soundtrack I've heard all year” while his score to Emperor was described as “phenomenal, recalling the days of Patton, or Tora! Tora! Tora! by Jerry Goldsmith” (Presspass LA), “stunningly beautiful yet strikingly simple” (Film Music Media) and “an epic score brilliantly mastered by Heffes” (JMH Digital).
His solo album project Face to Face featured collaborations with artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Regina Spektor and Matthew Barley. His music has appeared in concert performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Oman Symphony Orchestra and at the London Jazz Festival.
Face To Face Artists (L-R) Alex Heffes, Regina Spektor, Kawesa, Matthew Barley, Tunde Jegede, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yasmin Levy
In 2013 Alex's score to Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was nominated for a Golden Globe. Other scores have been nominated for BAFTA, Ivor Novello, European Film Academy, NAACP, Black Reel and ASCAP awards. In 2011 he was awarded discovery of the year by the World Soundtrack Academy and in 2012 was awarded best film score of the year at the Ivor Novello Awards in London.
Recent projects include Stephen Frears' Lance Armstrong biopic The Program, the thriller Bastille Day starring Idris Elba and 11/22/63 Starring James Franco produced by Stephen King and JJ Abrahams. his most recent work is for the latest Disney film Queen of Katwe, the story of A young girl from Uganda trains to become a world chess champion.
We at de Wolfe music are incredibly proud to have such a talented and travelled composer writing for our library. For over many years Alex has composed and produced stunning albums for our catalogues, and we look forward to many more in the future. Hear just some of his works below.
“I have had a long and happy association with De Wolfe Music. I appreciate their interest in recording with live musicians and striving to make their music as good as possible. Looking forward to many more with them!” - Alex Heffes