Bear McCreary’s symphonic sounds for ‘Battlestar Galactica’

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Among the hundreds of TV show themes currently coursing through the nation’s cable boxes, Bear McCreary’s compositions for ‘Battlestar Galactica’ could arguably be described as the most symphonic.

The cult TV series, which airs on the Sci Fi Channel and stars Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, features a score that is classical in scope and romantic in sweep, with references to many of the great composers of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Wagner, Bruckner, Sibelius and Mahler.

Sacrilege? Close your eyes and listen to the score from any of his work for the show, and you’re almost guaranteed to feel transported to a concert hall, with a conductor and a full symphony orchestra in front of you. Or at least we at Culture Monster were.

McCreary is a young composer, barely out of his 20s, who studied classical composition at USC’s Thornton School of Music. (He was a protege of the late, great film score composer Elmer Berstein.) On June 13, he’ll be conducting selections from his music for ‘Battlestar Galactica’ live at California Plaza in downtown L.A.


The performance begins at 7 p.m., but you may want to consider getting there extra early, lest you get trampled by passionate ‘Battlestar’ fans.

-- David Ng