Jessica Wells was born in Florida, USA and migrated to Australia at the age of 11. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1996 and graduated with first class honours. This was followed by a Masters Degree under Dr. Bozidar Kos completed in 1998 and teaching composition for 5 years at the Conservatorium. In 2005 she completed a Master of Arts in Screen Composition at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
Jessica’s compositions cross many genres in the classical, commercial and film music worlds. She runs a successful business working as an orchestrator, arranger and copyist, in such diverse areas such as orchestrating for the Australian Ballet / Bangarra (2012’s “Warumuk”), the indigenous opera “Pecan Summer” by Deborah Cheetham, arranging for ABC Classics albums with artists such as David Hobson, orchestrating feature film scores (“Happy Feet 2”, “Tomorrow When the War Began”, “Australia”, “How To Train Your Dragon”, “Happy Feet”, “Jumper” and dozens more), and arranging and copying for local composers in film, television, theatre and concert works.
Her original orchestral music has been performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Sinfonia, Queensland Orchestra and Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra. Her work Ainulindale was commissioned by Symphony Australia for the TSO in 2001 and was nominated in the APRA Classical Music Awards for “Best Orchestral Work” in 2002. Many of her works have been recorded and broadcast by the ABC, including The Eight Immortals which was the only Australian finalist in the prestigious Alexander Zemlinsky International Prize for orchestral composition in the USA.
Some recent short films Jessica has scored have been acclaimed internationally, including the AFTRS short “The Saviour” which was nominated for an Oscar at the Academy Awards in 2007, “Sexy Thing” which was selected for screening and in the running for the Palme D’or in Cannes 2006, and “Butterfly Man” which won the Silver Cub Award for short documentary at IDFA in Amsterdam 2005. She was awarded the Film Critic's Circle of Australia prize for "Best Display of Technical Excellence" for her body of work on eight films at the AFTRS graduation in April 2005.
Jessica has also forayed into TVC’s, writing music for Sydney Writer’s Festival TVC, MacDonald’s TVC’s and the theme for ABC Asia’s Australia Network. Her most recent television jobs were to write the theme music for the ABC’s “Q&A” program hosted by Tony Jones, and the “480” documentary series for ABC’s Message Stick program.