Stuart Hancock - a composer and arranger of film, television, commercial, theatre and concert music, and a professional pianist and conductor.
Stuart Hancock studied at Downing College Cambridge, and the London College of Music, graduating in 1998 with a distinction from the Masters course in Composing for Film and Television. This led to a full-time studio composer role with Soho-based music production company Mcasso, where Stuart excelled in commercial music composition and production. He went freelance in 2005 and has since built and maintained a varied career as a composer, arranger and conductor across all media.
Stuart quickly won industry recognition for his music and sound design, with awards for his commercial work on campaigns for the BBFC, Burberry New York and the BBC World Cup coverage. A first big film-scoring hit was with EMR, which won the Raindance Film Festival and went on general release in the summer of 2005 following its Cannes premiere. Stuart’s first soundtrack releases - for the independent action movies Underground and Bodyguard: A New Beginning - came in June 2009 to rapturous reviews (“Hancock proves that his work is up there with the best that Hollywood has to offer. Expect great things from him in the future”; Darren Rea, review of Bodyguard: A New Beginning). Stuart followed this with the World Cup football drama-documentary One Night In Turin in 2010, which went on general cinematic release, and the album of his choral/orchestral score to the fantasy film Hawk garnered many accolades on both sides of the Atlantic (“I had every expectation met with this soundtrack, and more. It is a delight to listen to”; Caleb Leland, Shadowlocked).
In late 2014, Stuart took up scoring duties on the hit primetime BBC1 Saturday night fantasy drama Atlantis, delivering a rich cinematic rollercoaster of an orchestral score across 13 epic episodes. The soundtrack was released in December 2015 on Silva Screen Records, to instant acclaim (“A magnificent work… the score sounds vibrant and exciting in a way that many similar scores don’t. Both Hancock’s action writing and his dramatic compositions are compelling”; Pete Simons, Synchrotones)
By 2013, Stuart had begun to receive considerable recognition for his scoring of independent films, starting with the Idyllwild Cinema Festival, California, where Hawk won Best Original Score (featurette). He won the documentary score category of the Jerry Goldsmith Awards (at the International Film Music Festival, Cordoba) with his poetic music for The Desert Treasure, and was declared Best Composer overall for his body of work. In September 2013, The Desert Treasure went on to win the coveted Violetta D’Oro at the Parma International Film Music Festival, Italy, and the Gold Medal for Best Documentary Score at the Park City Film Music Festival, Utah. In 2016, Stuart's quirky folk-inflected score for the bittersweet short Killing Thyme (starring Brian Cox and Charlotte Riley) won a further Jerry Goldsmith Award in the best short film score category.
Stuart capitalised on this success in 2016 with two breakthrough television projects: dark grungy electronica for the E4/Netflix comedy horror Crazyhead (from Misfits writer-creator Howard Overman) and colourful orchestral scoring for the animated adaptation of We're Going On A Bear Hunt (from the makers of The Snowman and the Snowdog). Bear Hunt premiered on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve and was the channel's highest-rated programme of the year with over 8 million viewers, and Stuart now conducts live concert performances of the film score to family audiences internationally (most recently in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in a double-bill with The Snowman).
Stuart's latest music for film includes the award-winning coming-of-age short Him & Her (2019), and the adapted score for The Ice King, a feature-length BBC Storyville documentary about Olympic champion ice skater John Curry, which had a UK cinema release in April 2018. 2020 has seen him scoring the History Channel feature-length documentary 'Hiroshima: 75 Years Later', broadcast in August in the US, and scoring slated for 2021/22 includes the major new animated feature film 'Kensuke's Kingdom', the feature documentary 'Disorder', and the songs and score for a children's film musical.
Also in demand as a composer of concert music, Stuart's second youth opera - a pirate romp called The Cutlass Crew - was staged by W11 Opera in Hammersmith in December 2017, and is set for its US premiere in April 2022. His previous concert work includes the ambitious collaborative song project for symphony orchestra, choir and soloists called Snapshot Songs, which received standing ovations for its performances at London’s Barbican Centre and garnered Stuart a prestigious BASCA British Composer Award in December 2015.
Stuart released "Raptures" in November 2019 – his first album of concert music, recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra. It has received unanimously glowing reviews across the classical music press:
The central piece on the album, Stuart’s Violin Concerto, was performed on February 29th 2020 at London’s Cadogan Hall (with Jack Liebeck as soloist with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra).
For examples of Stuart's compositions, please click here.
ALBUMS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE:
RAPTURES --- WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT --- ATLANTIS --- THE LAST BELLE --- THE DESERT TREASURE
HAWK --- CRAZYHEAD --- ONE NIGHT IN TURIN --- UNDERGROUND --- BODYGUARD: A NEW BEGINNING