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Titanic movie composer James Horner dies in air crash

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 24/06/2015

Oscar-winning composer James Horner
Oscar-winning composer James Horner
Titanic film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Canadian singer Celine Dion

Management at Titanic Belfast have paid tribute to acclaimed Hollywood composer James Horner following his tragic death in a California plane crash.

The 61-year-old trained pilot, who was behind the Oscar-winning Titanic movie score, suffered fatal injuries north of Santa Barbara on Monday morning.

On Facebook, Horner's personal assistant Sylvia Patrycja said: "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent.

"He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road."

Horner won an Oscar for the globally successful 1997 Titanic film score and shared a second Oscar with lyricist Will Jennings for best original song, My Heart Will Go On, sung by Celine Dion.

The Titanic soundtrack sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the most successful albums of all time.

James Cameron's blockbuster movie fuelled worldwide interest in the ill-fated Belfast-made liner which Northern Ireland capitalised on with the introduction of the popular Titanic Belfast visitor attraction in 2012.

When visitors to the Belfast building check out the Myths and Legends gallery, they hear My Heart Will Go On and see a copy of the poster for Cameron's movie - where James Horner's name can be seen.

Titanic Belfast chief executive Tim Husbands said: "James Horner leaves a spectacular musical legacy, having worked with many of the greats in Hollywood, scoring over 100 films, including the Oscar-winning score for James Cameron's Titanic and its enduring theme song My Heart Will Go On, which is globally recognised by Titanic Belfast's visitors.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family at this time."

Celine Dion, said she was deeply sad at the tragic death of the composer, and legendary Hollywood director Ron Howard shared his thoughts on Twitter.

"Brilliant composer James Horner, friend and collaborator on seven movies has tragically died in a plane crash," he wrote.

"My heart aches for his loved ones."

In April at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Horner conducted a 90-piece orchestra, choir and Celtic musicians at a Titanic Live event, while the film was projected on the big screen in high definition.

Horner had more than 150 composer credits for TV, films and documentaries

His other work includes the scores for Apollo 13 and Braveheart.


Since opening in March 2012, Titanic Belfast has welcomed more than 2.1m visitors from more than 145 countries and scooped Northern Ireland Tourist Board's first-ever five-star attraction accolade.  It was crowned 'Outstanding Visitor Experience' at the NI Tourism Awards, named Europe's best visitor attraction for groups as well as receiving a 'Gold Standard' Investor in People accreditation.

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