Donate to Filmtracks
This Week's Most Popular Reviews:
   1. Romeo & Juliet
   2. Hobbit: Unexpected Journey
   3. The Phantom of the Opera
   4. Lady in the Water
   5. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
   6. Moulin Rouge
   7. Gladiator
   8. Titanic
   9. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
   10. Thor: The Dark World
Newest Major Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
   1. Chappie
   2. Fifty Shades of Grey
   3. Night/Museum: Secret/Tomb
   4. The Imitation Game
   5. Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
   1. Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
   2. City of Ember
   3. Jack the Giant Slayer
   4. Indiana Jones Collection
   5. King Kong Lives
Section Header
Cliff Eidelman
Reviews in Filmtracks'
Top 100 Traffic Ranks:
#84.  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
(updated daily)

Scores in Filmtracks'
Top 100 Voting Ranks:
#32.  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
(updated daily)

Filmtracks Editor's Recommendations:
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Related Pages of Interest:
Picture Bride
(1995, rejected score)
The Alien Trilogy
(1996, Eidelman conducting)
The Ultimate Star Trek
(2000, Eidelman conducting)
In Session
(2001, Eidelman conducting)

One of the few Los Angeles-born composers working in Hollywood, Cliff Eidelman (born 1964) began his formal musical training at the age of eight, studying the violin. After experimenting with the jazz guitar, he trained at Santa Monica City College, where he received his two commissions (the ballet Once Upon a Ruler and Celebration Symphony Overture in Three Movements). After enrolling in the music program at USC, Eidelman received his first lucky break into film scoring, with an offer to write for the feature film Magdalene. Recorded with a stunningly large orchestra and choir in Europe, the score showcased Eidelman's ability to write an epic and melodic score. After providing an equally impressive score for the WWII drama Triumph of the Spirit in 1989, Eidelman expanded beyond the television venue in which had been concentrating and wrote his two fan favorite scores, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.

Beginning in 1992, Eidelman began writing introspective and intimate scores for films of stronger character orientation, and by 1998, it would be these scores by which the composer's talents would be best known in the industry. For Untamed Heart, Leap of Faith, My Girl 2, A Simple Twist of Fate, Now and Then, and One True Thing, Eidelman would compose and conduct minimalistic, but thematically rich scores, often with the piano as the centerpiece of the work. Between 1989 and 1999, Eidelman also scored a multitude of telvision films, including the 1989 HBO film Dead Man Out (a score which was nominated for a Cable Ace award), the dramatic 1996 telefilm If These Walls Could Talk and the 1999 HBO production of Witness Protection.

In the 1990s, Eidelman emerged as an equally talented conductor. With performing groups in Seattle and Scotland, he has conducted numerous performances of film music, as well as his own compositions, and most of which released on the Varèse Sarabande record label. During his entire career, Eidelman has continued to write original pieces for the concert hall, including "Suite for Orchestra" in 1996, "Five Pieces from Stage and Screen" in 1987, "The Creation Symphony" in 1995, and "The Tempest" in 1996. Eidelman remained active in these endeavors even as his film scoring career slowed between 1999 and 2001, and the composer continues to reside in Santa Monica, California.

Cliff Eidelman in the 1990's

"With Star Trek I just felt so good about doing that, and being part of such a legacy, a part of history that would live on... I would have loved to do more Star Trek movies."
-- Cliff Eidelman in 1998

Bursting into a legacy of film scoring held in high popular esteem, Cliff Eidelman was never the same after scoring the sixth installment of the Star Trek film series in 1991. For the young composer, it was about as large of a career break as any other had ever received. By both critics and fans, the dark and choral score for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is considered to be one of the finest (if not the outright best) score of the treasured franchise, elevating the upstart Cliff Eidelman to a cloud among Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner for Trek fans. Eidelman would battle through issues of his youthful age in the industry and compose a handful of powerful, epic scores in the late 1980s and early 1990s, often with romantic and melodic attributes best performed by large orchestras and choruses. Ironically, while Eidelman remains best known for these large scale triumphs, his career has been best defined by the character dramas for which he scored in the 1990s. The rich multi-instrument training of his youth, ranging in genre from classical to jazz, has offered Eidelman a vast array of musical knowledge and perspective from which to draw for his own compositions.

Beginning with Leap of Faith and Untamed Heart, Eidelman would compose a series of sentimental and minimalistic scores for heavily dramatic films in the years following Star Trek VI and Christopher Columbus. And while his scores for such heartfelt projects as Now and Then and One True Thing were praised by critics, this turn of sentimentality did not sustain the interest of the fans he had gained with his early bombast. Eidelman continued his career by writing several concert hall pieces and conducting film music performances in Seattle and the U.K. Even in these lesser known projects, Eidelman's sense of harmony and thematic sincerity continues to prosper. Without the heavy exposure he received in the early 1990s, however, Eidelman faded into obscurity later in the decade, and his career would progress a matter of a few years without a feature film project. Nevertheless, the existing body of Eidelman's work is still an impressive selection, and Eidelman's youth will allow him countless more years of composition in the future, some of which may involve more commercially available recordings of his concert works. If Star Trek VI is the only Cliff Eidelman score in your collection, then that's a good start... but there's much more to hear.

 Filmography/Reviews at Filmtracks:  

(see legend below for information on abbreviations and codes)
 Title FRVRVT CTRD TR DatesNotes
Big Miracle***2.931430||1,41501/12
He's Just Not That Into You**2.62660||1,77706/11
Open Window
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants***3.172682|53112/05
Sexual Life
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Harrison's Flowers***2.935635||77404/02 - 02/09
Ocean Men (IMAX)****3.241763|1,03203/03 - 11/08
An American Rhapsody**2.884350|1,22512/01 - 02/09
Witness Protection (TV)**
One True Thing***2.841860||1,19005/01 - 03/08
Free Willy 3: The Rescue****3.244070||72708/99 - 02/08
The Beautician and the Beast***3.212221||1,15806/01 - 09/08
If These Walls Could Talk (TV)
Now and Then***2.942180||1,03705/01 - 12/07
My Girl 2
A Simple Twist of Fate***3.142530|1,15406/01 - 02/08
The Meteor Man
Untamed Heart***3.254480||44305/01 - 09/08
Leap of Faith
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery****3.464881||49103/98 - 01/08
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country*****4.193,41620||||8412/96 - 03/12all albums
Backfield in Motion (TV)
Judgment (TV)
Crazy People
Dead Man Out (TV)
Triumph of the Spirit****3.363080||1,23606/01 - 05/07
Animal Behavior
Magdalene****3.131551||1,39206/01 - 07/08
To Die For

- indicates a new review that has been published in the last 90 days
- indicates an older review that has been significantly revised in the last 90 days
Awards: AW - indicates that the music won or was nominated for a major award
Ratings: FR - Filmtracks Rating ("Varied" indicates a split rating with no overall designation)
VR - Viewer Rating (overall average)
VT - Vote Total (for viewer ratings)
Comments: Comment Total (the number of messages posted in the review's comment area)
Review Depth: ||||| - Massive Review (over 4,000 words)
|||| - Very Long Review (between 2,200 and 4,000 words)
||| - Long Review (between 1,200 and 2,200 words)
|| - Average Review (between 800 and 1,200 words)
| - Short Review (under 800 words)
Traffic Rank: Popularity Rank (lower numbers indicate more cumulative reads; new reviews take time to climb the ranks)
Dates: 1st - indicates the month and year during which the review was first published
2nd - indicates the month and year of the review's most recent significant revision (if any)

You're the 45,199th person to view this page since 2001.
  The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Page created 7/11/01 and last updated 6/11/09. Copyright ©2001-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.