Film Composer Michael Small Dead at 64

Posted in News on December 10, 2003
BMI film composer Michael Small, best known for music to such thrillers as Klute, The Parallax View and Marathon Man, has died. The 64-year-old had been suffering from prostate cancer.

Small, who got his start in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, scored more than 50 films and TV movies, including The Stepford Wives, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Black Widow, The China Syndrome, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Comes a Horseman, Night Moves and Continental Divide. He also wrote music for commercials and documentaries, including 1977's Pumping Iron, the bodybuilding documentary featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Born in New York City on May 30, 1939, Small grew up in Maplewood, NJ. He took piano lessons as a child and eventually began writing original musical comedy shows while attending Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He also spent a year in the master's program in English at Harvard. But it wasn't until Small moved to New York City in 1962 that he received formal music training, studying orchestration privately with composer Meyer Kupferman, head of the music department at Sarah Lawrence College.

Small is survived by his wife of 42 years, Lynn, and two sons, Jonathan and David.

Services were held last week in New York City.