Jeff Beal

As a kid, composer Jeff Beal was inspired by Miles Davis's album "Sketches of Spain," which was given to him by his grandmother, Irene, a professional pianist and accompanist of silent films. To emulate Davis, Beal chose to study the trumpet, and also began writing music as a student in high school. One of his compositions was performed by the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Beal has always tried to meld jazz improvisation with more classical composition, and has played at famous jazz clubs like the Blue Note. In the early 1990s, Beal also began composing music for films. In 1998, he contributed music to the Tom Hanks-produced space race miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," and he underlined Helen Mirren's stormy emoting in the biopic "The Passion of Ayn Rand" in 1999. In 2000, Beal found a project uniquely suited to his talents: "Pollock," Ed Harris's labor-of-love biopic about the famous action painter, and his prestige as a film composer increased. He also worked in television, where he contributed surreal music to the HBO drama"Carnivàle" and the horror miniseries "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King." Beal has accomplished all of this while fighting multiple sclerosis, and it's a measure of his courage that he has put himself in the forefront of radical treatment for the disease.