Dave Grusin

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Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin.jpg
Grusin in 2008
Background information
Birth nameRobert David Grusin
Born (1934-06-26) June 26, 1934 (age 84)
Littleton, Colorado, United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, contemporary jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, producer, arranger, label owner
InstrumentsPiano, keyboards
Years active1962–present
Labels GRP
Associated acts Lee Ritenour
Website www.grusin.net

Robert David Grusin (born June 26, 1934) is an American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. He has composed many scores for feature films and television, and has won numerous awards for his soundtrack and record work, including an Academy Award and ten Grammy Awards. He has had a prolific recording career as an artist, arranger, producer and executive producer. He is the co-founder of GRP Records.


Born in Littleton, Colorado, he studied music at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was awarded his degree in 1956. He produced his first single, "Subways Are for Sleeping", in 1962 and his first film score for Divorce American Style (1967). Other scores followed, including Winning (1969), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), The Midnight Man (1974), and Three Days of the Condor (1975).

In the late 1970s, he started GRP Records with his business partner, Larry Rosen, and began to create some of the first commercial digital recordings. He was the composer for The Graduate , On Golden Pond (1981), Tootsie (1982) and The Goonies (1985). In 1988, he won the Oscar for best original score for The Milagro Beanfield War , He also composed the musical scores for the 1984 TriStar Pictures and the 1993 Columbia Pictures Television logos.

From 2000-11, Grusin concentrated on composing classical and jazz compositions, touring and recording with collaborators, including guitarist Lee Ritenour. Their album Harlequin won a Grammy Award in 1985. Their classical crossover albums, Two Worlds and Amparo, were nominated for Grammys.

Life and career

Grusin's mother was a pianist and his father was a violinist from Riga, Latvia. [1] [2] An alumnus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, College of Music, he was awarded his bachelor's degree in 1956. His teachers included Cecil Effinger and Wayne Scott, pianist, arranger and professor of jazz. [3]

Grusin has a filmography of about 100 titles. His many awards include an Oscar for best original score for The Milagro Beanfield War , as well as Oscar nominations for The Champ , The Fabulous Baker Boys , The Firm , Havana , Heaven Can Wait , and On Golden Pond . He also received a Best Original Song nomination for "It Might Be You" from the film Tootsie . Six of the fourteen cuts on the soundtrack from The Graduate are his. Other film scores he has composed include Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? , Three Days of the Condor , The Goonies , Tequila Sunrise , Hope Floats , Random Hearts , The Heart is a Lonely Hunter , Mulholland Falls and The Firm . In addition, he also composed the original opening fanfare for film studio TriStar Pictures. [4]

Grusin composed theme music for the TV programs It Takes a Thief (1968), The Name of the Game (1968), Dan August (1970), The Sandy Duncan Show (1971–72), Maude (1972), Good Times (1974), Baretta (1975), St. Elsewhere (1982), and, for Televisa in Mexico, Tres Generaciones (1987). He also composed music for individual episodes of each of those shows. His other TV credits include The Wild Wild West (1966), The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966), and Columbo: Prescription: Murder (1968). He also did the theme song for One Life to Live (1968) from 1984–92. Grusin and Larry Rosen founded GRP Records in 1978. In 1994, GRP was in charge of MCA's jazz operations. Founders Grusin and Rosen left in 1995 and were replaced by Tommy LiPuma. In 1997, Grusin and Rosen founded N2K Encoded Music, which was renamed N-Coded Music.[ citation needed ]

He received honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music in 1988 and University of Colorado, College of Music in 1989. Grusin was initiated into the Beta Chi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at the University of Colorado in 1953.[ citation needed ]

Grusin is married to Nan Newton. He is the father of music editor Stuart Grusin, music editor and musician Scott Grusin, and aerospace engineer Michael Grusin. He is the stepfather of artist Annie Vought and elder brother of keyboardist Don Grusin and sister Dee Grusin.[ citation needed ]

Awards and honors

Academy Awards

Grammy Awards

Golden Globe Awards



As leader

As sideman

With Patti Austin

With the Brothers Johnson

With Tom Browne

With Don Grusin

With Quincy Jones

With John Klemmer

With Earl Klugh

With Jon Lucien

With Harvey Mason

With Carmen McRae

With Sergio Mendes

With Lee Ritenour

With Dave Valentin

With Sadao Watanabe

With others


1967 Divorce American Style Bud Yorkin Columbia Pictures
Waterhole No. 3 William A. Graham Paramount Pictures
The Graduate Mike Nichols Embassy Pictures
1968 A Man Called Gannon James Goldstone Universal Pictures
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? Hy Averback United Artists
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Robert Ellis Miller Warner Bros.
Candy Christian Marquand ABC Pictures
1969 Winning James GoldstoneUniversal Pictures
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here Abraham Polonsky Universal Pictures
1970 Halls of Anger Paul Bogart United Artists
Adam at 6 A.M. Robert Scheerer Cinema Center Films
1971 The Pursuit of Happiness Robert Mulligan Columbia Pictures
Shoot Out Henry Hathaway Universal Pictures
A Howling in the Woods Daniel Petrie NBC
Universal Television
Television film
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight James Goldstone Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1972 The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid Philip Kaufman Universal Pictures
Fuzz Richard A. Colla United Artists
1973 Amanda Fallon Jack Laird NBC
Universal Television
Television film
The Friends of Eddie Coyle Peter Yates Paramount Pictures
1974 The Nickel Ride Robert Mulligan 20th Century Fox
The Midnight Man Roland Kibbee
Burt Lancaster
Universal Pictures
The Yakuza Sydney Pollack Warner Bros.
1975 W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings John G. Avildsen 20th Century Fox
Three Days of the Condor Sydney PollackParamount Pictures
1976 Murder by Death Robert Moore Columbia Pictures
The Front Martin Ritt Columbia Pictures
1977 Mr. Billion Jonathan Kaplan 20th Century Fox
Fire Sale Alan Arkin 20th Century Fox
The Goodbye Girl Herbert Ross Warner Bros.
Bobby Deerfield Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
1978 Heaven Can Wait Warren Beatty
Buck Henry
Paramount Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1979 The Champ Franco Zeffirelli Metro-Goldwyn-Mayernominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
…And Justice For All Norman Jewison Columbia Pictures
The Electric Horseman Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
1980 My Bodyguard Tony Bill 20th Century Fox
1981 On Golden Pond Mark Rydell ITC Entertainment nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Reds Warren BeattyParamount Pictures
Absence of Malice Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
1982 Author! Author! Arthur Hiller 20th Century Fox
Tootsie Sydney PollackColumbia Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1984 Racing with the Moon Richard Benjamin Paramount Pictures
The Little Drummer Girl George Roy Hill Warner Bros.
Falling in Love Ulu Grosbard Paramount Pictures
1985 The Goonies Richard Donner Warner Bros.
1986 Lucas David Seltzer 20th Century Fox
1987 Ishtar Elaine May Columbia Pictureswith Bahjawa and Paul Williams
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Robert Redford Universal Pictureswinner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Clara's Heart Robert MulliganWarner Bros.
Tequila Sunrise Robert Towne Warner Bros.
1989 A Dry White Season Euzhan Palcy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Fabulous Baker Boys Steve Kloves 20th Century Foxnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1990 Havana Sydney PollackUniversal Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Bonfire of the Vanities Brian De Palma Warner Bros.
1991 For the Boys Mark Rydell20th Century Fox
1993 The Firm Sydney PollackParamount Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1995 The Cure Peter Horton Universal Pictures
1996 Mulholland Falls Lee Tamahori Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1997 Selena Gregory Nava Warner Bros.
In the Gloaming Christopher Reeve HBO Television film
1998 Hope Floats Forest Whitaker 20th Century Fox
1999 Random Hearts Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
2001 Dinner with Friends Norman Jewison HBO Television film
2007 Even Money Mark Rydell Yari Film Group
2008 Recount Jay Roach HBO Television film
2010HarmonyStuart Sender
Julie Bergman Sender
NBCTelevision film
2013Skating to New YorkCharles MinskyWell Go USA Entertainment

See also


  1. "Dave Grusin Page". Soul Walking. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  2. "Dave Grusin Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  3. "Cecil Effinger Interview with Bruce Duffie". Bruce Duffie. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Dave Grusin | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  6. "Dave Grusin | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2017.