Chris Walden

Composer - Arranger - Conductor

Seven-time Grammy® nominated German-born composer/arranger/conductor CHRIS WALDEN has scored more than 40 feature and TV films, and has written more than 1,500 orchestral and big band arrangements for artists including Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Barbra Streisand, and orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops. He has worked closely with producers David Foster, Tommy LiPuma, and Phil Ramone.

He most recently served as lead arranger for the Academy Awards (Oscars®), he arranged for and conducted the Kennedy Center Honors and arranged the National Anthem for Jennifer Hudson's performance at the SUPER BOWL XLIII. His recent film credits  as a composer include the feature films “The Terror of Hallow’s Eve” and "King Of Herrings”. For many years Walden worked as arranger for "AMERICAN IDOL” and the "THE TONIGHT SHOW with Jay Leno". He has been musical director on many TV shows and series, and has worked on more than 150 CDs. As an arranger and bandleader he has worked with jazz artists including Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Tierney Sutton, Arturo Sandoval, and the Count Basie Orchestra.

Chris Walden began writing compositions and arrangements at the age of 16 for local high school bands. After graduating at 19, he joined the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra as a trumpet player. At the age of 21, while he was studying composition and arranging at the University of Cologne he started writing arrangements for German radio big bands and radio symphony orchestras. As assistant to his mentor Peter Herbolzheimer, Walden arranged music for the OSCAR® nominated film "Schtonk".

After receiving two master's degrees in music, Chris Walden conducted both the RIAS Big Band in Berlin and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, served as musical director for the televised German Movie Award Show for four years, and composed music for German films and TV before emigrating to Los Angeles at the age of 29.

As a guest conductor, he led the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Munich Symphony, and many more.

Although Chris Walden learned composing, arranging, and orchestrating the traditional way, with pencil and paper, he explored the possibilities of computers for sequencing and notation early on. As a result he prefers to orchestrate, program, and conduct his music himself.

Since 1999 Chris is leading his own big band recruited from top studio musicians based in Los Angeles. Chris has served as trustee on the national board of the Recording Academy and past president of ASMAC (American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers.)


  • 2017 Grammy Nomination for "White Christmas" (Herb Alpert)

  • 2014 Grammy Nomination for "Moon River" (Amy Dickson)

  • 2013 Grammy Nomination for "Let's Fall In Love"
    (Calabria Foti/Seth MacFarlane)

  • 2008 (2) Grammy nominations for "Symphony No.1"

  • 2007 ASMAC award

  • 2005 (2) Grammy nominations for "Home Of My Heart"
    (Chris Walden Big Band)

  • 1998 Ernst-Fischer-Prize

  • 1993 Ernst-Fischer-Prize