Cody Westheimer, Composer
Cody Westheimer is a noted film and television composer.
A multi-instrumentalist, his love for music started when he began studying piano and brass instruments at the age of eight. A magna cum laude graduate of the music composition program at USC’s Thornton School of Music, his gift for thematic writing and creative instrument choices has made him a sought after composer for both studio and independent projects.
The Los Angeles resident currently runs New West Studios with his wife Julia Newmann, and has composed compelling scores for dozens of dramatic features, documentaries, TV shows, and games. In 2010 he scored the independent feature “Conception.” The film was directed by noted television writer Josh Stolberg and starred Julie Bowen, David Arquette and Sarah Hyland. Most recently Westheimer penned a new Hollywood inspired theme for the Tour de France, which aired on Versus and NBC. It was so well received that Versus chose to continue airing it as their “cycling anthem” along side their other programming. Other notable credits include the music for TLC’s “Little People, Big World” and the theatrical film trailer for Neil Labute’s “The Wicker Man.”
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Westheimer’s first orchestral work was performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony in 1997 as a senior in high school. Years later in 2009 Westheimer was commissioned by the Santa Barbara Symphony to compose “The Remarkable Farkle McBride” (based on the John Lithgow book). His piece was premiered by the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2010, with a repeat, encore performance in 2011. In 2002, upon graduation from the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, Westheimer was awarded the ASCAP Morton Gould Award for his orchestral work, “Bamboo Leaves,” featuring the Japanese shakuhachi (bamboo flute) and orchestra.
Among his other musical accomplishments and accolades Westheimer was selected as a participant for the prestigious ASCAP Filmscoring Workshop in 2001, and was chosen as a finalist for the Young Film Composer’s Competition, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies in 2004. Meanwhile, his orchestral score to the 2005 short animated film “SMILE” was awarded Double Gold Medals at the Park City Film Music Festival, and his overture for Sega’s “The Golden Compass Game” was nominated by the Game Audio Network Guild for “Track of the Year.”
In 2008 Westheimer moonlit as a filmmaker with his award-winning documentary, “Running for my Father.” The documentary followed Westheimer as he trained for the Houston Marathon in honor of his father, Dr. Eric Westheimer who died of a brain tumor in 2007. As an offshoot of the tribute Cody Westheimer created ironcure.org a twitter (#ironcure) driven social support site also devoted to raising cancer awareness through endurance sports activities. Currently Westheimer is training for the Ironman World Championships on October 8, 2011 in Kona, Hawaii.
He credits his training sessions in providing inspiration to the scoring process. And while Westheimer composes mostly on keyboards, he is known for incorporating his vast collection of rare and interesting musical instruments. His recent work in independent cinema has also reacquainted him with his love for the guitar, prompting an exploration in eclectic rock sounds and other modern pop styles.
Whenever he finds a spare moment, Westheimer can be found working on his debut album. Described as “eclectic instrumental,” each track is inspired by a different Van Gogh painting.
Other than writing and playing music Westheimer enjoys nature photography, home improvement and playing with his dog, Henry.