Nobuo Uematsu (植松 伸夫, Uematsu Nobuo, born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese musician and composer, best known for his contributions to the Final Fantasy video game series by Square Enix. A self-taught musician, he began playing the piano at the age of twelve, with English singer-songwriter Elton John as one of his biggest influences. Uematsu joined Square in 1986, where he first met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. The two later worked together on many titles at the company, most notably in the Final Fantasy series. After nearly two decades with Square, Uematsu left in 2004 to create his own production company, which included the Dog Ear Records music label. He has since composed music as a freelancer for other games, including ones developed by Square Enix and Sakaguchi's development studio, Mistwalker.
Many soundtracks and arranged albums of Uematsu's game scores have been released. Pieces from his video game works have been performed in various Final Fantasy concerts, where he has worked with Grammy Award–winning conductor Arnie Roth on several of these performances. In the 2000s, he was the keyboardist in the hard rock band The Black Mages, along with Square Enix colleagues Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito. The band played various arranged rock versions of Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions. He has since performed with Earthbound Papas, which he formed as the successor to The Black Mages in 2011. He is sometimes referred to as the Beethoven of video game music and has made several appearances in the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame.