Nobuo Uematsu (?? ??, Uematsu Nobuo) (born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. He is considered one of the most famous and respected composers in the video game community. Uematsu, a self-taught musician, began playing the piano at the age of eleven or twelve, with Elton John as his biggest influence.Uematsu joined Square (later Square Enix) in 1986, where he met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. They have worked together on many video game titles, most notably the games in the Final Fantasy series. After nearly 20 years in the company, he left Square Enix in 2004 to found his own company called Smile Please, and the music production company Dog Ear Records. He has since composed music as a freelancer for video games primarily developed by Square Enix and Sakaguchi's development studio Mistwalker.Soundtracks and arranged albums of Uematsu's game scores have been released. Pieces from his video game works have been performed in Final Fantasy concerts. He has worked with Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth on several of these concerts. From 2002 to 2010, he was in a rock band with colleagues Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito called The Black Mages, in which he played electronic organ and other keyboards. The band played arranged rock versions of Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions. He has since performed with the band Earthbound Papas.