Biography

Roger Neill is a film and television composer, best known for his scores for the films “20th Century Women,” “Don’t Think Twice,” “Beginners,” and his work on television series such as Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” CBS’s “Mom” and the long-running Fox animated series “King of the Hill.” Neill, who holds a PhD from Harvard in music, has a vast award-winning music catalog, including the scores to more than twenty feature films, hundreds of television episodes, video games, commercials, and an opera.

2016 saw the release of “20th Century Women,” his second film with director Mike Mills, with whom he has also collaborated on multiple commercial campaigns. The Academy Award-nominated film, starring Annette Benning, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and Lucas Jade Zumann, features a striking retro synth score evoking 1979 Santa Barbara. 

Another recent film is Mike Birbiglia’s “Don’t Think Twice.”  DTT was produced by Ira Glass of “This American Life” fame.  Roger was contributed music to that series and many other of Ira’s projects, including his live shows and a shared project for Google.  Roger also recently scored Birbiglia’s new podcast, “The Old Ones.”

Roger has been worked extensively in game music, primarily in association with renowned game composer Jesper Kyd. Together they have collaborated on many blockbuster game titles, such as Assassins Creed: Revelations, Borderlands 2, Darksiders 2, State of Decay, Heroes and Generals, and many others.

As an arranger, orchestrator, conductor and collaborator, Roger has worked with a who’s who in the recording industry, including Beck, Michael Jackson, The Kronos Quartet, John Legend, Sondre Lerche, Mellow, Natalie Merchant, Spoon, Stereolab, David Sylvian and Kygo. Roger has enjoyed a long-term relationship with the French electronica duo AIR, on record and on stage. He was conductor and arranger for a legendary orchestral concert with AIR at the Hollywood Bowl, followed by a similar concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. 

Neill is a multi-instrumentalist and avid world music specialist, codified with studies in Swahili music in Mombasa and Zanzibar with Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany, considered the father of Kiswahili scholarship. Among the many instruments he plays are piano, acoustic and electric guitars and basses, a multitude of flutes and other wind instruments, exotic percussion, and an ever-increasing collection of fretted stringed instruments including the charango, cavaquinho, ukulele, dulcimer and dobro, among many others. All these instruments and more have figured prominently in Neill’s scores.

A Southern California native, Roger hails from El Cajon, a cultural backwater of eastern San Diego County where gun racks outnumber surf racks. He began play music at the age of nine, electric guitars in garage bands, flute in youth orchestras. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California, followed by graduate studies at Harvard. Roger is the recipient of many ASCAP and BMI awards, as well as an Emmy for his work on King of the Hill, and an LA Weekly Theater Critics Musical of the Year Award for his operetta The Beastly Bombing.  The Beastly Bombing has been mounted worldwide, with an upcoming production scheduled for January 2019 at the Neuköellner Oper in Berlin.

Roger is represented by the Evolution Music Partners: (323) 790-0525.