Shigeru Umebayashi (aka Ume) was born in Kitakyushu, Japan.

He started composing film music in 1984 and his talent was immediately recognized in 1985, when the music he composed for the Japanese film production Sorekara (And Then) won several film music awards. He has since scored more than 30 Japanese Films, including Onmyoji and Onmyoji II.

Ume is also an internationally renowned film composer, best known for creating ‘Yumeji's Theme’ in Wong Kar-Wai's film In The Mood for Love as well as collaborating with Wong Kar-Wai on 2046. He was the music producer and composer for Zhang Yimou's films House of Flying Daggers and Curse of The Golden Flower and composed the end-title song ‘Lovers’ for the soprano Kathleen Battle.

Ume has proven his versatility in world cinema, working with such directors as Hong Kong's Ronny Yu for Jet Li's Fearless, Italy's Roberta Torre for Mare nero (Dark Sea), Serbia's Uros Stojanovic for Tears for Sale, England's Peter Webber for Hannibal Rising, Germany's Veit Helmer for Absurdistan and British director Sharon Maguire for Incendiary, starring Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor.

He also contributed music to A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford (2009); Dias de gracia (Days of Grace) directed by Everardo Gout, winning the Mexican Academy Ariel Awards Best Score in 2012; Trishna, directed by Michael Winterbottom (2011); The Grandmaster, directed by Wong Kar- Wai (2013) winning jointly with French composer Nathaniel Mechaly the 2014 Best Composer Award at the 8th Asian Film Awards and 2014 Best Composer Award at the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards. He produced and composed the scores for Come il vento (Like the Wind) directed Marco Simon Puccioni (2013) and for La Novia (2015) directed by Paula Ortis, nominated for a Goya Award and winning the Ferros Award for best original score.

Recent scores for Chinese production companies include The Wasted Times (Er Cheng, 2016), God of War (Gordon Chan, 2017), Miss Puff (Xinyi Zhang, 2018) and the TV programme Kings Back produced and featuring the leading actress Zhang Ziyi (2020). Other recent projects include the score for the 4-part Channel 4 TV drama Chimerica (Michael Keillor, 2018) co-written with Tom Holkenborg and scores for several video games including Onmyoji (NetEase 2018) and Ghost of Tsushima (Sony Play Station 4, 2020) and for the Kazakhstan film Olma Djon (2019) which won the Best Feature Award at the Rome independent Cinema Festival.

Ume composed the music for the official documentary film of the Beijing Olympics The Everlasting Flame : Beijing 2008, winning many international awards. The soundtrack of Onmyoji was used by the gold Shigeru Umebayashi bio April 2023 LA2.docx Page 2 of 2 medalist figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and in PyeongChang.

In 2015 he was commissioned by Gidon Kremer to write The Japanese Four Seasons, an original new score for the virtuoso violinist and his renowned ensemble Kremerata Baltica. This work is being recorded by Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica alongside other new works for an album release in 2024.

Ume’s music has been featured in several commercials for major international brand names, including Patek Philippe, Chanel, Nestlé, Volkswagen, Lacoste, Guinness, IKEA and Valentino.

Since 2010 Ume has started to present his film music in concert at European festivals and concert halls.

Shigeru Umebayashi is as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science and of the World Soundtrack Academy.