Steve Kaplan


Malibu resident and award-winning film and television composer, Steve Kaplan, was killed last week when a twin-engine Cessna he was piloting crashed into a Claremont home. He was on his way to Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga to rehearse with the school’s jazz bands for a winter concert. Kaplan was 45.

A graduate from CSUN, Kaplan studied with famed pianist Jacob Gimpel. Kaplan received a degree in classical piano, and also studied jazz piano with Charlie Shoemake.

Kaplan was a noted Los Angeles keyboardist and composer on numerous films and television shows. He collaborated with recording artists Morgana King, Bill Watrous, Chuck Findley, Bob Sheppard and Brandon Fields and top composers Bill Conti and Henry Mancini. Most recently, he worked as a contributing composer and arranger on “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!”

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awarded Kaplan the Film and Television Award for Most Performed Themes.

Kaplan is survived by his wife, Shelby, mother Elly Jurist, sister Amy Jurist, brother Andy Kaplan, sister-in-law Allison Wright, and nephews Lucas and Levy Kaplan.