"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" -- the score to the highly anticipated feature film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- will be released by Warner Bros. Records on Tuesday, July 10th, the day before the movie opens in theatres across the U.S. and Canada on Wednesday, July 11th.
The fifth installment of the blockbuster fantasy adventure franchise has been scored by award-winning British composer Nicholas Hooper, who has enjoyed a long association with the film's director, David Yates. Hooper and Yates have worked extensively together in television, as well as on the feature "The Tichborne Claimant." Most recently, Hooper won the 2007 BAFTA TV Award for Best Original Music for his score for the telefilm "Prime Suspect -- The Final Act," starring Helen Mirren. He was also nominated for a 2006 BAFTA TV Award for his score to the Yates-directed drama "The Girl in the Cafe." Hooper follows in the footsteps of the previous Harry Potter composers: Patrick Doyle, who scored 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and John Williams, who composed the music for the first three Harry Potter films, which together were nominated for three Grammy Awards and two Oscars, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.
Based on the fifth book in the series of best-selling novels by British author J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returning for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts only to discover that much of the wizarding community has been led to believe that the story of the teenager's recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is a lie, putting Harry's integrity in question. Worse, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy), has appointed a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the duplicitous Professor Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton). But Professor Umbridge's "Ministry-approved" course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the Dark Forces threatening them, so at the prompting of his friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), Harry takes matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students, Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead.
"I saw the scoring of this Harry Potter film as a great opportunity to work with such important themes on a grand scale," Hooper says. "David Yates and I started early, even before filming started, working on such themes as Ministry of Magic, Umbridge, and Voldemort. However, as we came closer to the final cut, the music developed beyond what we had first imagined, so there was that inevitable race against time. My process is one of discovery, rather than having a specific plan. This can be nerve-wracking, but it has its creative benefits."
Hooper recorded nearly two hours of music at London's fabled Abbey Road Studios, famous for its acoustics and ambience. His team included engineer Peter Cobbin (the Lord of the Rings trilogy), and conductor Alastair King (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) who conducted the Chamber Orchestra of London. "The team was the best around," Hooper says. "We had a complete rapport and I always felt that they knew what we were trying to achieve."