Long known for her luxuriant romanticism and uncanny ability to find just the right chord between onscreen drama and viewer emotions, composer/songwriter Rachel Portman has been scoring films consistently and tirelessly since 1982. With more than 30 credits to her name, and work in both television and film, Portman became an important figure in the history of film in 1997 when she became the first female composer to win an Academy award for her score to director Douglas McGrath's adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma.
Born on December 11, 1960, in Haslemere, England, Portman showed an avid interest in music when she began to play a variety of instruments from a very early age. By the time she had reached her early teens, Portman had taken a strong affection towards the piano and begun composing original music. Drawn to the more naturalistic musical instruments rather than electronic synthesizers, Portman decided to pursue her career in music with an education at the University of Oxford.