Soloist(s) and orchestra
Band / Wind / Brass Ensemble
Large ensemble
2-8 players
Solo (excluding keyboard)
Solo keyboard(s)
Chorus a cappella or plus 1 instrument
Chorus and orchestra
Solo voice and up to 8 players
The Ghosts of Versailles: arias and excerpts (voice(s) and piano)
Three Cabaret Songs (voice(s) and piano)
End of the Line
Film scores

Altered States (1980)
Music for the motion picture
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Film Score, 1980



Listen to a sound clip



Studio orchestra, Christopher Keene, conductor RCA Victor (BMG) 3983-2-RG (1981)
Love scene: Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, John Mauceri, conductor Phillips 438 663-2 (1995)
Altered States (the motion picture) Warner Home Video DVD 11076 (1998)


Program note

Early 1979 . . . After a tiring day at the Burbank Studios working on Altered States I was out for an evening of relaxation with a much loved and familiar masterpiece the memory of which was blown into oblivion by the music of a name totally unfamiliar to me — John Corigliano. Reading from my program that he was a contemporary composer I braced myself for thirty minutes of plinks and plunks that pass for music these days. I was in for a shock, a surprise, a revelation.

Not since Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin have I been so excited in the concert hall. Here were sounds of magic and grandeur I had long since despaired of hearing from a modern musician. . . . if only he would compose the music for Altered States instead of some commercial hack we directors are usually saddled with, I thought wistfully. But that's just a dream.

I should have known better — Hollywood is the place wher dreams come true.

                     — Ken Russell, director, Altered States (from the CD notes).

© 2021 John Corigliano | Designed by Wlad Marhulets | Artwork photos by Richard Howe