Kundun - Philip Glass
This is Glass' first bigtime burst into recognition in the filmmusic world --the score for Kundun, as of the end of 1997, has won the Los Angeles Film Critics nod for best score, and has been nominated for best score by the Golden Globes. Glass is a classical-based composer who caught the interest of Martin Scorsese many years ago, and Glass' Buddhist faith and Tibetan knowledge made him the perfect choice to score Kundun.
What's coincidental about this score is that John Williams' score for the Dalai Lama film Seven Years in Tibet was but a month old when this one was released. The two, naturally, are perfect for comparison. They both feature Gyuto Monks as the centerpiece of their ethnic needs. Glass adds a much pronounced emphasis on certain instruments that create perhaps a superior cultural touch.