Amin Bhatia

With hundreds of scores to his credit, Emmy-nominated composer Amin Bhatia has written music for film, television, radio, theatre, and albums, for several decades, composing with as much passion as the day he started.

Born in London England, he grew up in Kampala Uganda until his family immigrated to Canada to escape political turmoil. His childhood was full of music from many cultures and his gift of perfect pitch gave him a unique ability to learn from them. At a young age he gravitated towards orchestral music, but with the limitations of not being able to fit an orchestra into his family home he obtained a Minimoog synthesizer instead which led him to multiple prizes in the Roland International Synthesizer Competition and projects with Steve Porcaro of Toto and the infamous David Foster.

Some of his synth programming even ended up on one of the most celebrated albums of all time: Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Bhatia eventually migrated to live players and acoustic scores, working with full size orchestras in Toronto, Munich, and Bratislava. Bhatia’s music has been likened to the harmonic inventiveness of Jerry Goldsmith and the technical prowess of Hans Zimmer.

His affinity with music and technology brought him to composing for film and television, composing various projects such as the CSA award winning series Anne with an E for CBC/Netflix; the internationally-acclaimed series Flashpoint for CTV and CBS as well as the CBC series X Company all while creating guest compositions for the hit series The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Queer as Folk (Alliance) and The Ray Bradbury Theatre (Showtime). His feature film credits include Storm (Cannon), Iron Eagle II (Alliance/Tristar), Rescue Heroes: The Movie (Nelvana/Fisher Price), John Woo’s Once a Thief (Alliance/CTV) and many IMAX orchestral scores for award-winning filmmaker David Lickley. Bhatia’s orchestral commissions include Dr Jane Goodall and His Highness the Agakhan.

Amin and long-time friend and collaborator Ari Posner have won numerous Canadian Screen Awards for their work on Anne with an E (CBC), Detention Adventure (CBC), Flashpoint (CTV/CBS) and Let’s Go Luna (PBS),as well as an Emmy Award Nomination for the Disney sci-fi anime series Get Ed. Other collaborators include Arlene Bishop, Johnny Clegg, Ralph Dyck, Sarah Slean, and Meiro Stamm. Amin has also been nominated twice for the Louis Applebaum Composers Award.

“I love writing for an audio visual medium,” says Amin. “Unlike songwriting and concert music, you have such inspiration from the film itself.” When asked what the future holds, he replied “I’m a sci-fi nerd at heart so I’d love to expand into video games and virtual reality. But it’s all about the characters, no matter what the setting, so I just love making music that serves the story.

His solo albums The Interstellar Suite and Virtuality pay homage to his love of science fiction TV, and film scores and many album tracks have become standard repertoire in music competitions. Bhatia has worked as a consultant to many synthesizer companies and is the first Canadian on the Board of Advisors for the Bob Moog Foundation. He is also an advocate for screen composers and serves on the Board of Directors for the Screen Composers Guild of Canada.

After being mentored by such luminaries as Steve Porcaro, Oscar Peterson, and David Greene, Amin is now giving back with workshops at various institutions including the Canadian Film Centre (CFC). He resides in Toronto with his wife, actor Danielle Nicole, and two very loyal but neurotic cats, all living nearby his brilliant daughters Angie and Kel Bhatia.