John McCarthy (composer)

John McCarthy (born June 27, 1961) is a composer for film and television.[1] His music has been described as a hybrid of ‘acoustical and electronic’ elements. McCarthy’s background includes extensive experience in classical, jazz, rock and world music.

John McCarthy
Background information
Born (1961-06-27) June 27, 1961
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1993–present
Websitemccarthymusic.comBattle Creek

Life and career

McCarthy studied at The Royal Conservatory of Music and Humber College. He has recorded and toured with many bands including Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) and Frozen Ghost.[2] McCarthy’s first film, Love and Human Remains, was directed by Academy Award winner Denys Arcand. The film is a dark comedy about a group of GenX twenty-somethings (one of whom is a serial killer) who are looking for love and meaning in a big city during the 1990s.[3] McCarthy scored a pair of episodes of the 2015 David Shore/Vince Gilligan show Battle Creek (CBS).[4] His other work in television includes scoring the CBS series Due South (created by Academy Award winner Paul Haggis)[5] and the NBC series My Own Worst Enemy, starring Christian Slater.[6] In 2010, McCarthy scored the short film Local Change, Global Impact. The film was produced by the International Peace Institute, a division of the United Nations, and narrated by Patrick Stewart.[7] McCarthy is the younger brother of actress Sheila McCarthy.[8] They have worked together on several movies including The Stone Angel, The Possession of Michael D and Virtual Mom.


McCarthy won the Genie Award (Canadian Academy Award) in 2009 for Best Original Score for the feature film The Stone Angel, starring Ellen Burstyn and directed by Kari Skogland.[9] In 2001, McCarthy received the Dale Melbourne Herklotz Award for Excellence in Music at the Marco Island Film Festival for Dischord.[10] In addition, McCarthy was nominated for Gemini Awards in both 1995 and 1996 for Best Original Music Score for the television series Due South[11]

Selected filmography



TV movies


  1. "Filmography for John McCarthy". TCM Archive Materials. TCM. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  2. "Frozen Ghost official website". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  3. "Love and Human Remains". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. TIFF. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  4. "Weekly TV Music Roundup". Film Music Reporter. Film Music Reporter.
  5. "Jay Semko". Innerviews. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  6. Lowry, Brian. "Review: My Own Worst Enemy". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  7. "Local Change, Global Impact". International Peace Institute. vimeo. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  8. "Genie Awards". Siegel Productions. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  9. "Passchendaele, Necessities of Life dominate Genie Awards". Arts and Entertainment. CBC News. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  10. "MARCO ISLAND FILM FEST AUDIENCE CHOOSE WINNERS". Film Threat. Hamster Stampede. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  11. "Due South Honors and Awards". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
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