Krakower Group Composer Spotlight: Roque Baños

Today, we are excited to spotlight  Composer Roque Baños, whose recent projects include scoring the film ‘The Commuter,’ directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring  Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga.

Roque Baños was born in Jumilla (Murcia) in 1968. He began his musical education at the age of 9, in the “Conservatorio Superior de Música de Murcia” where he finished elementary level, specializing in saxophone, obtaining Honors in both Music Theory and Saxophone. In 1986, he moved to Madrid, where he completed studies in Saxophone, Piano, Music Theory, Composition and Conducting. at the “Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Madrid” with honors and several merits mentions.

In 1993, receives a grant from the Ministry of Culture in Spain to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated “Summa Cum Laude” in the fields of Film Scoring and Performance in 1995, receiving in addition the “Robert Share Award” for demonstrating the highest musical-dramatic level in the area of film music composition, and an “Achievement Award” for his outstanding performance abilities.

During his years of study, Roque earned in 1987 a position as an officer musician in the Spanish Army, where he developed an intense compositional period writing concert music for Marching Band and Chamber ensembles. Mr Baños also developed a career as a Classical Saxophone, performing in a number of concert halls in Spain and abroad, premiering works by Spanish and foreign composers as well as his own. His path, however, was always directed towards composition and conducting, finding in these fields his principal occupation. He has premiered and directed his own scores at the National Auditorium in Madrid, the Reina Sofia Auditorium, the Cultural Circle of Fine Arts Hall, and several Music Halls in Spain and abroad.

In 1997 he was committed to do his first Film Score “Back Roads” directed by Emilio Martinez Lazaro, one of the most acclaimed director in Spain. After this success he has worked with many of the Spanish most renowned directors, such as Alex de la Iglesia, Daniel Monzon, Carlos Saura, Santiago Segura to name a few, and he has earned  international recognition working with acclaimed directors such as Terry Gilliam,  Ron Howard, Kevin Reynolds, Spike Lee, Jonathan Glazor, Brad Anderson amongst others. A special mention to his first US production “Evil Dead” directed by Fede Alvarez, with whom he has a close personal and professional relationship, has opened a door to the American Market, without disappearing from his origins in the Spanish Film Industry, where he keeps an intense work.

His latest works are “The Commuter” directed by Jaume Collet Serra, “Miracle Season” by Sean McNamara, “Yucatan” by Daniel Monzón, “Sin Rodeos” by Santiago Segura, and “The man who killed Don Quixote” directed by Terry Gilliam, all to be release in 2018.

Biggest non-musical influences.

The past, the past of the past, and the future, always influence me. History, Mythology and Astronomy are my passions.

What do you do with your limited free time?

I love to enjoy my family, doing diverse entertaining activities. We love traveling, sports, and over all, we love the pleasure of eating.

If you could travel to any period based on the music, when would you go?

I would sit by Peter Tchaikovsky at his piano while he was composing his last 3 symphonies.

Favorite current composer?

Igor Stravinsky.

Best scored movie you’ve ever seen?

Altered States from John Corigliano

What is your least favorite instrument?

Baroque Organ.

What’s your composing method? (a) sitting at a piano (b) computer (c) pencil on manuscript paper (d) improvisation with musicians (e) other.

All of them.

When did you discover that you wanted to pursue film music?

At 14, after seeing ET in a theater.

How did you first get involved writing music? What challenged you most, and what rewarded you most, as your résumé evolved over the years?

I believe it was something unexplainable, I had the necessity to write music since I heard the notes from the mayor scale in my first music class when I was 9. My first writing experience was at 12, when I wrote a piece for a wind quintet, that the players enjoyed a lot when they played it. That has been always what rewarded me most over the years, people enjoying your music, from the musicians to the audience.

What do you do to get away from it all?  What do you like doing outside of the studio?

I love traveling, writing and sports.


Where is your favorite place to travel? Have these places ever influenced your work?

The Grand Canyon. It always influences my work in a different way. It is the endless inspiration.

What is your favorite song that you don’t want to admit that you like?

Low Rider.