Mark McKenzie studied composition with renown classical composers Pierre Boulez, Witold Lutoslawski, and Morten Lauridsen among others. During his formal training at USC, Mark was recognized with numerous awards such as the “Hans J. Salter Masters in Music Composition Award,“ “The Norman Cousins Most Inspirational Award,“ and the “Outstanding Doctoral Music Graduate Award.” Drawing from his atonal and experimental compositional training, his knowledge of the great symphonic literature, his attraction to the creativity in popular and world music, McKenzie was drawn to music for film. After orchestrating numerous blockbuster and critically acclaimed films, Mark helped legendary Academy Award Winning composer Jerry Goldsmith orchestrate his final films and compose when time constraints or health issues made it impossible. Since the passing of Goldsmith, McKenzie has gone on to compose his most creative and powerful works.
Directors speak of Mark's unerring instincts to capture the emotional core and imbue each scene with nuanced music to knit together and propel forward the story, character and emotions. Directors use words such as: “timeless,” “epic,” and “intensely human.” Director LeVar Burton said it best: Working with Mark was truly a highlight and one of the best experiences of my career.
The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and film music periodicals declare that Mark McKenzie’s commanding orchestral prowess puts him among the foremost symphonists in Hollywood; that his music is "strikingly original, soul-stirring, majestic, spiritual, deeply profound, filled with unfathomable beauty and power."
“McKenzie is finally grabbing the limelight thanks to an obscure indie Mexican 3D animated spiritual film called The Greatest Miracle (El GRAN MILAGRO) declares Hollywood’s most venerable magazine Variety. THE GREATEST MIRACLE won the Hollywood Music in Media Award’s "Best Indie Score of 2011." It was doubly nominated as "Best Score of the Year" and "Best Animated Movie Score of the Year" by the International Film Music Critics Association. THE GREATEST MIRACLE was described by Movie Music UK as “…some of the most beautiful lyrical, and emotionally resonant music ever written for film.” While the score did not get nominated for an Academy Award, Mark and the score were featured in Variety’s “Eye on the Oscars.” The Greatest Miracle is repeatedly on “Top Ten Scores of the Year” lists for 2011.
“Mark McKenzie has been the go to guy behind-the scenes for top film composers” states “Variety.” He has assisted John Barry, Danny Elfman, Mark Isham, John Powell, Marc Shaiman, Alan Silvestri, John Williams and the aforementioned Jerry Goldsmith with orchestrations. Those orchestrations are available on soundtracks such as the Academy Award winning, multi platinum DANCES WITH WOLVES, Academy nominated MEN IN BLACK, GOOD WILL HUNTING, and THE PATRIOT, and blockbusters such as SPIDERMAN I&II, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, STAR TREK VI, VII, and X, ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, A FEW GOOD MEN, and the timeless seasonal classic NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Mark's original music has been heard in every corner of the globe. He composed the opening and closing theme music to the longest running and most honored television series in history "The Hallmark Hall of Fame.” His original scores such as THE GREATEST MIRACLE, THE ULTIMATE GIFT, BLIZZARD, SAVING SARAH CAIN, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GARCIA LORCA, DR. JEKYLL AND MS. HYDE, FRANK AND JESSE, numerous Hallmark Hall of Fame films, and more are available on compact disc and digital download through itunes, amazon and most major soundtrack outlets. Mark’s original music has been featured repeatedly on the Academy Awards, underscored the Olympics, performed before the Pope, heard at Disney World, California Adventures, Wimbledon and in countless other venues. His choral work "Gloria," first premiered at the 2000th Crystal Cathedral Hour of Power broadcast has become a perennial Christmas favorite around the USA.
Mark McKenzie is a member of The Motion Picture Academy music branch, The Television Academy, The Society of Composers and Lyricists, and the BMI performing rights organization.