Jan A P Kaczmarek: Oscar-winning composer for Finding Neverland dies aged 71 after suffering from MSA

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Oscar-winning composer Jan A P Kaczmarek has died aged 71.

Polish composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of Finding Neverland, has died aged 71. Kaczmarek’s death was announced by Poland’s Music Foundation, which had been informed of his death by the composer’s wife. Kaczmarek had suffered from MSA, a rare degenerative neurological disorder.

He composed music for films shot in Europe and Hollywood, including Total Eclipse (1995) with Leonardo DiCaprio and Unfaithful (2002) with Richard Gere and Diane Lane. He rose to global prominence after winning the Academy Award for best original score in the biographical fantasy Finding Neverland, based on the life of JM Barrie and starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

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Polish composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of Finding Neverland, has died aged 71Polish composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of Finding Neverland, has died aged 71
Polish composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of Finding Neverland, has died aged 71 | NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kaczmarek, born in Poland in 1953, aspired to be a diplomat and studied law, but a brief association with Jerzy Grotowski's avant-garde theatre led him to pursue a musical career. He moved to Los Angeles in 1989, but spent the last few years of his life in Krakow, southern Poland.

He is survived by his second wife, Aleksandra Twardowska-Kaczmarek, and five children.

What is MSA?

According to the NHS, multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare condition of the nervous system that causes gradual damage to nerve cells in the brain. This affects balance, movement and the autonomic nervous system, which controls several basic functions, such as breathing, digestion and bladder control.

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