Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Acclaimed Composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ Soundtrack, Passes Away at 71

Jan A.P. Kaczmarek Renowned Composer of Finding Neverland (Miramax)

Polish composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, known for his Oscar-winning score for “Finding Neverland,” passed away on Tuesday in Krakow at the age of 71. The Polish Music Foundation announced his death, citing his battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) in recent years.

Kaczmarek’s prolific career spanned over 50 film and television scores, including remarkable works like “Unfaithful,” “Bliss,” “Aimee and Jaguar,” “The Visitor,” and “Get Low.” He also composed the music for the French-Italian miniseries adaptation of “War and Peace” in 2007.

Born in Konin in 1953, Kaczmarek had an unconventional journey to becoming a film composer. Initially educated as a lawyer, he veered towards music after joining an experimental theater company in Poznan during the 1970s. His ensemble, the Orchestra of the Eighth Day, gained recognition across Europe, showcasing his talents on various instruments.

Award Winning Composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek (Miramax)

Relocating to the United States in 1989, Kaczmarek continued to make waves in the theater scene, earning a Drama Desk Award for his work on “Tis Pity She’s a Whore.” His collaboration with director Agnieszka Holland resulted in serious film and television projects, showcasing his versatility and unique approach to scoring.

However, it was his enchanting score for “Finding Neverland” that brought him international acclaim, capturing the innocence and magic of the film’s narrative. Kaczmarek’s ability to connect emotionally with audiences through his music earned him numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations.

Reflecting on his creative process, Kaczmarek emphasized the importance of an immediate response to the visual imagery, allowing the music to organically complement the storytelling.

In addition to his contributions to the film industry, Kaczmarek was a passionate advocate for cultural exchange and innovation. He founded the Instytut Rozbitek for the development of new artistic endeavors and spearheaded the Transatlantyk Poznan International Film and Music Festivals.

Recognized for his remarkable contributions to Polish culture, Kaczmarek received prestigious awards, including Poland’s Knight’s Cross, Order of Polonia Restituta, and a lifetime achievement honor from the Polish Film Academy.

Jan A.P. Kaczmarek is survived by his second wife, Aleksandra, and five children, leaving behind a rich legacy of musical excellence and artistic innovation.