skip to main content

A Remarkable Musical Background

Charles Bernstein has played jazz in the cellars of Paris – danced and played folk music with the Greeks and with gypsies from the Balkans – he has won academic honors including the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship and a Chancellor's Teaching Fellowship – conducted his own orchestral music at the age of sixteen – written and produced off-Broadway – recorded with great artists and legendary producers – studied composition at Juilliard, and with American master Roy Harris – he is equally at home with electronic, orchestral, ethnic, jazz, pop and music of the spirit.

sadatMr. Bernstein is very active as a composer of film and TV scores. He has composed scores for over 130 motion pictures, including genre classics A Nightmare on Elm Street (the original), The Entity, Stephen King's Cujo, Dracula spoof Love At First Bite, and a wide variety of comedies, dramas and action films. He has provided music for Academy Award winning documentaries Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision and the all-music film Czechoslovakia 1968, as well as for the Tom Hanks Vietnam saga, Return with Honor. His many made-for-television films include the Jane Seymour historical epic Enslavement (Emmy Nominated for Best Score), HBO's Emmy Award winning Miss Ever's Boys with Alfrie Woodard, the Michael Mann Emmy winning 10-hour miniseries Drug Wars, Hallmark Hall of Fame's Emmy winning Caroline?, Jack London's The Sea Wolf (Emmy nominated for Best Score), and Emmy Nominated mini-series The Long Hot Summer, as well as the acclaimed historical mini-series Sadat.

film music and everything elseWhen he is not writing music, Charles Bernstein is writing about music. National film critic Leonard Maltin calls Charles Bernstein's award winning writings about music "stimulating, informative and fun." According to Oscar winning song writers Marilyn and Alan Bergman, he is "always a fascinating writer." His writings have won the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award. In addition to scoring movies, Mr. Bernstein has composed for modern dance, theater and the World Festival of Sacred Music. His MASS: Voices of the World won praise from Quincy Jones, who called it "a beacon of light bringing hope to our hearts as we enter the twenty-first century," and from best-selling author Thomas Moore, who deemed it music "to bring re-enchantment into our lives."

Mr. Bernstein is currently elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Board of Directors of The Society of Composers and Lyricists, and the Board of Directors of the ASCAP Foundation. He has taught on the graduate film scoring faculty at USC, and holds an annual film scoring seminar in the summers at UCLA Extension.