20 22 oct '22

Lalo Schifrin

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WSAcademy: WSA Voting Member

Lalo Schifrin is a true Renaissance man. As a pianist, composer and conductor, he is equally at home conducting a symphony orchestra, performing at an international jazz festival, scoring a film or television show, or creating works for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and even The Sultan of Oman.

As a young man in his native Argentina, Lalo Schifrin received classical training in music, and also studied law. He came from a musical family, and his father, Luis Schifrin, was the concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon. Lalo Schifrin continued his formal music education at the Paris Conservatory during the early 1950’s. Simultaneously, he became a professional jazz pianist, composer and arranger, playing and recording in Europe.

His music is a synthesis of traditional and twentieth-century techniques, and his early love for jazz and rhythm are strong attributes of his style. “Invocations,” “Concerto for Double Bass,” “Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 2,” “Pulsations,” “Tropicos,” “La Nouvelle Orleans,” and “Resonances” are examples of this tendency to juxtapose universal thoughts with a kind of elaborated primitivism. In the classical composition field, Schifrin has more than 60 works.

He has written more than 100 scores for films and television. Among the classic scores are Mission Impossible, Mannix, The Fox, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, Dirty Harry, The Cincinnati Kid and Amityville Horror. Recent film scores include Tango, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3, Bringing Down The House, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, After the Sunset, and Abominable.

In 1987, a select group of some of the best musicians in France decided to form the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra for the purpose of recording music for films, performing concerts and participating in television shows. The appointed Lalo Schifrin as Musical Director and their inaugural concert took place at the Theatre des Champs Elysees on January 26, 1988. His first recording with this orchestra was released on September 1988. Schifrin held this post for five years before resigning to spend more time composing.

Among Schifrin’s other conducting credits are the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Mexico Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Saint Luke (New York City), the National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra.

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