Patrick Kirst

Adjunct Instructor

  • Program:
    Screen Scoring
  • Division:
    Contemporary Music


German-born composer Patrick Kirst is one of Hollywood’s next generation of film composers providing a unique voice in the industry. He recently wrote additional music for Disney’s movie Earth, a nature documentary based on the popular BBC series Planet Earth.

Patrick has also scored numerous independent features, shorts, and documentaries.  He also worked for composer Steve Porcaro on PBS’ The American Experience – John & Abigail Adams, Lifetime’s miniseries based on Nora Roberts’ acclaimed novels, for which he wrote additional music and orchestrated. He has orchestrated for Aaron Zigman on Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Sex and the City starring Sarah Jessica Parker.

Patrick’s style ranges from the grand classic symphonic setting to smaller, more intimate band settings. He mélanges various styles and injects his own personality into each project, while capturing the unique soul of the story. With his broad musical understanding, he is able to reflect the visual experience in a well-spotted score filled with dramatic subtext and emotional sophistication.

After extensive studies at the Classical Music Conservatory in Karlsruhe, Germany, he was awarded a national grant to do research on the perception of film music. In 2000, his journey continued abroad through a generous scholarship from Rotary International. He attended the Berklee College of Music, followed by New York University, and then the University of Southern California, where he studied under distinguished composers such as David Raksin, Christopher Young, Jack Smalley and Grammy Award winner Joe Harnell.

In 2007 he joined the adjunct faculty at USC. He is honored to be part of the incredibly talented pool of faculty members and enjoys sharing his experience as an artist in today’s highly competitive film music market.