Veteran composer Dean Grinsfelder has provided music for hundreds of film, television and interactive projects over the past two decades. His selected credits include trailers and promos (Conan the Barbarian, Thor, Tangled, Spider-man 3), feature films (P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, Stonebrook, Hysteria), high-profile documentaries (Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures, Dinosaur Planet, Alien Planet), television series (Wolverine & The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, American Fighter Pilot), top-selling video games (Warner Brothers Interactive’s Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat 9, Electronic Arts’ Ultima:Ascention, Microsoft’s Freelancer), game shows & pageants (Miss Universe/Miss USA Pageants, Lingo Game Show), commercials (Ford, Mobil Oil, Office Depot), and logos and I.D.s (AMC Theaters, Bristol Bay Productions). Dean has also served as the Head of Production for Q-Factory Music, Inc., a music library focusing on the film trailer industry, and his music can be heard in countless film trailers and promos.

Dean earned an Emmy Award for music editing his score for Discover Channel’s “Dinosaur Planet” (2007), an Emmy nomination for his score for “Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures” (2008) and an Emmy nomination for music editing his score for Discovery Channel’s “Before We Ruled the Earth” (2002). In addition, Dean has received three Telly Awards, a Mobius Award and numerous other accolades and recognition across a variety of media types.

Dean won an Emmy Award in 2004 for music editing his score for Dinosaur Planet, and earned an Emmy Award nomination in 2009 for his score for Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures

Equally comfortable in front of an orchestra or a wall of computers, Dean brings forth a broad range of musical and technological skills, including composition, orchestration, conducting, music editing & supervision, and engineering & recording.  He is also passionate about the art of storytelling, and has lectured on the role of music in film and other modern forms of storytelling.

Dean is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL), and the American Society of Music Arrangers & Composers (ASMAC).

Dean is a native of Ross, California, in Marin County just north of San Francisco. His innate musical abilities became evident when he began playing the piano at the age of five, improvising elementary songs without formal instruction. He joined his first band at the age of 13 and focused on music during his high school and college education. After earning a degree in Music Composition from UC Berkeley in 1982 (with a minor in business), Dean performed as a professional pianist and keyboardist in numerous jazz, pop, rock, soul and rhythm & blues groups based in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Dean’s passion for film and professional orientation directed his music career toward the Film Scoring Program at UCLA Extension under the tutelage of TV-Film music icon Gerry Fried and renowned orchestrator Scott Smalley. In 1996, Dean was selected to participate in the highly acclaimed ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop.

If you look inside yourself you’ll find, you’re born on earth to love mankind.  Shine a light so bright and clear that all can see their purpose here.

DG 1978

Dean’s background gives him a unique business orientation toward the music and entertainment industries. While in the early stages of his composing career, he earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UCLA and subsequently achieved the position of Vice President of Real Estate Finance for the Wall Street firms of Salomon Brothers and CS First Boston.  Dean has shared his business experience with fellow composers by organizing and moderating seminars on business and technical subjects at UCLA and for the Society of Composers and Lyricists.

Dean currently lives in Pacific Palisades, California in the Westside area of Los Angeles. He is an avid tennis player (USTA level 5.0), trail runner, soccer and lacrosse coach, a devoted husband and father of three young boys.

Dean’s studio, Highland Music Productions, is continually upgraded to be one of the most current music production facilities in the industry. He uses only professional studio equipment such as Apogee, SPL, Manley, Avalon, Avid ProTools and Apple Logic Pro, and his virtual instruments library is complete with the latest sounds and instruments.

Dean is regarded as one of the top “MIDI orchestrators” in the business, and is an expert at blending overdubbed live instruments with his custom samples to create an extremely convincing final product.   He has developed proprietary technology that helps him wield the massive amount of sounds that are at his fingertips, enabling him to produce finished scores extremely quickly and efficiently under the most time-sensitive and budget-restricted conditions.



Richard Carle, Director of Audio, WB Games / NeatherRealm Studios

Interactive Game Cinematics (“Mortal Kombat 9”, “Injustice: Gods Among Us”)

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: “The music you wrote is subtle and detailed and full of complex emotion and energies.  It adds so much the game.  Your commitment to excellence shines through in every piece you wrote.  And I  have never worked with anyone who had your determination to satisfy the clients so completely.  You are a great listener – ‘hearer of direction’ – and a consummate professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

MORTAL KOMBAT 9: “You swooped in and saved us.  Your talent, commitment, professionalism, and beautiful music made our trip to Outworld utterly delightful.  I can’t thank you enough for joining our team!”

Byron Thompson, Director “Stonebrook” (dramatic feature film)

Starring Seth Green and Brad Rowe, 1998 AFI Film Festival, 2000 Newport Film Festival

“Dean is an amazing composer. I myself am a composer, and as a kid I would memorize every note of my favorite movie soundtracks. Dean simply gets it. He knows what the music is supposed to do, and he knows how to do it. During the editing, the editors put together a really good temp track, so good that it was difficult to hear anything else. But Dean dug deep and, insistent on a theme, came out with a marvelous, yet simple, theme for the film. The theme holds a ruggedness to it, as does Erik [the lead character], and allows itself to stay neutral, neither major nor minor. The listener may interpret it as they wish. That’s one thing I like about Dean’s music. He writes wonderful melodies, yet keeps the music subtle.

“The biggest challenge with the score was the diversity of styles. Dean composed everything from ambient, to rock, to jazz, to classic styles. He brought on top-notch players to play the parts, and managed to get a thick full orchestra sound for the climax. He’s a genius at making a little into a lot. As for the jazzy middle section, I feel it gives the film a mature and confident feeling, as well as a mysterious quality. We are telling a fun story. That’s it. I think the music keeps us having fun.”

Dexter Kim, Director, “Prodigal Son” (dramatic short film)

Winner – 1997 Dore Schary “Best Narrative Film” Award, Winner – 1997 Angelus Award

“Dean really understood the emotional beats of my film and did an outstanding job translating them into music. I’ve received many comments on the quality of the score and how effective it was at maximizing the emotional impact of the film. I especially appreciate the fact that Dean delivered such remarkable work given a very short timetable.”

 Bram Roos, Executive Producer/President, FilmRoos

“Top Secret” Discovery Channel series, “The Unknown Jesus” and “Sex in the Bible” A&E specials, “Biblical Disasters” History Channel specials

“Dean’s sense of drama and pacing really helped make our show come alive.”

Tom Tataranowicz, Executive Producer/Director, New World Animation

“The Incredible Hulk” Animated Series, “Dark Realm”, “Thor” (w/Mark Hamill voice-over)

“I expect a lot from a composer, and Dean not only delivers, but exceeds my expectations. His expertise at reinforcing story points and flawlessly transitioning between scenes and dramatic beats is a major asset in achieving the emotional impacts I am seeking. His themes give the worlds we create a vibrancy that would be otherwise unattainable.”

Rickie Rodriguez, Senior Art Director, Zubi Advertising

Ford Mustang/Mask of Zorro film tie-in campaign and many other national ad campaigns

“Their [Dean and collaborator Tom Seufert] score for the Ford Mustang Zorro campaign was a home run. We were so pleased we used them again on a Ford F-150 truck spot. If there’s anyone who could give me the emotion I wanted in both spots, it was [Dean and Tom].