Among Brian’s many enduring credits are “New York” the 14 hour epic documentary series that is among the biggest selling documentaries of all time, “Long Journey Home” which won a Grammy for it’s soundtrack in collaboration with The Chieftains, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Sinead O’Connor, and others, the classic “Winter’s Solstice” series for Windham Hill which he produced, his ground breaking ethnic recordings with middle eastern musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Irish musician Joanie Madden, and others, his pioneering and influential work scoring a huge number of Emmy, Peabody, and Oscar winning documentaries, for award winning film makers like Ric Burns, Thomas Lennon, and Henry Hampton to name a few, and the many Peabody and Emmy winning sports documentary specials for HBO, ESPN, CBS, and others.
Recent credits include the BBC television series “Copper” for Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson, and Emmy winning producer Tom Fontana whose August 2012 premiere was the highest rated in the history of the BBC. Brian has also scored several feature films, his music has been used in many major film soundtracks, and Brian’s music is being regularly performed by symphony orchestras throughout the world.
Born in Philadelphia in 1953, Brian's mother was an avant garde composer, and his dad, an Irish tenor. Brian played his first professional job as a rock n’ roll musician when he was still a sixth grader in Westport Connecticut where he grew up. He studied privately with the late John Mehegan, who was a pioneer in jazz, and music theory, and then with Czech composer Karel Husa at both Ithaca College, and Cornell. Brian began his professional career as a guitarist playing in clubs and as a sideman, rising to become a world class jazz guitarist, performing with many of the Jazz greats of the 1970's and 1980's, including touring worldwide and recording for several years in a guitar duo with Larry Coryell, and eventually becoming a Blue Note recording artist. In 1981, while still primarily a guitarist, Brian scored his first documentary "A Cuban Odyssey" for directors Jim Burroughs and Suzanne Bauman which was nominated for an Academy Award. A few years later, Brian’s score to "Suleyman the Magnificent" was released as a soundtrack CD, and led to Brian becoming a leading producer of ethnic music, and New Age recordings for a variety of major record labels. He would go on to become a Grammy-winning record producer, and one of the most successful producers of the nineties, producing more than three dozen Billboard charting recordings.
In 1988, Keane scored “Chimps: So like us” the Academy Award nominated documentary that put Jane Goodall’s work in the public eye, for Oscar winning directors Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman. Their offices happened to be one floor down from acclaimed film maker Ric Burns, who, after producing the classic “Civil War” documentary with his brother Ken, went on to work with Brian on the 1990 documentary “Coney Island”. Brian has scored every one of Ric Burns' award winning films since, including "The Donner Party," "The Way West”, “Ansel Adams”, and “Andy Warhol” to name a few. In the early 1990’s, Brian worked with ABC news in developing music for one of the early news documentary series “Turning Point”. Keane helped pioneer the path for that genre, which is still largely used today. Keane's documentary credits include several films for Oscar winning director Thomas Lennon including the Peabody and Emmy winning "The Battle Over Citizen Kane", and "Blood of Yingzhou District", which won an Academy Award in 2006. Keane is also noted for his work on the PBS history series American Experience, his Emmy and Peabody winning work with sports documentarians George Roy, and Fritz Mitchell, and many other projects. In all, Keane has scored over a hundred Emmy nominated documentaries and films, more than a dozen Peabody winning films, and six Oscar nominated films, and in 2002, Brian became the first composer in the history of the Emmy’s to sweep all the nominations for music in a single year.