Jon Burlingame

Adjunct Assistant Professor


Jon Burlingame is the nation’s leading writer on the subject of music for films and television. He writes regularly for Variety and has written on the topic for such other publications as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsday, Emmy, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter.

He is the author of four books: the best-selling The Music of James Bond (Oxford University Press, 2012), the film-composer encyclopedia Sound and Vision: 60 Years of Motion Picture Soundtracks (Billboard Books, 2000), the television-music history TV’s Biggest Hits (Schirmer Books, 1996) and the Hollywood studio-musician chronicle For the Record (Recording Musicians Association, 1997).He has also contributed chapters to other books, including one on Leonard Bernstein in On the Waterfront (Cambridge University Press, 2003), on John Williams in Boston Pops: America’s Orchestra (2000) and on Elmer Bernstein in Moving Music: Conversations With Renowned Film Composers (2003).

Jon Burlingame teaches film-music history at the University of Southern California and has often lectured on music for films and TV in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Miami and Switzerland. He has served as a consultant on film- and TV-music programs for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the American Film Institute and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

He has hosted several film-music programs at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. His program notes have been read by patrons of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center and London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Burlingame has made appearances on, or contributed music commentaries to, many DVDs including King Kong, The Magnificent Seven, The Sand Pebbles, The Pink Panther, The High and the Mighty, How the West Was Won, The French Connection, In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, The Guns of Navarone, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He has also written the liner notes for dozens of soundtrack albums.

His television and radio appearances have included NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, NPR, A&E and Bravo. He wrote the five-part series on movie music, The Score, produced and hosted by the legendary Phil Ramone for the Trio cable network; and he has recently written, produced and hosted several specials on great film composers for Classical KUSC in Los Angeles.

He has also produced and annotated a series of CDs of original music from the popular 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for the Film Score Monthly label.

He began his career as a reporter and critic for daily newspapers in upstate New York. He moved in 1986 to Los Angeles, where he now lives with his wife, producer and music historian Marilee Bradford.