15 17 Oct '24

Pino Donaggio

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WSAcademy: WSA Honorary Member
From the age of ten till the age of eighteen, Venice-born Pino Donaggio (° 24 Nov. 1941) dedicated his life to the violin, Vivaldi and other Italian classics. In 1959 however, he discovered rock‘n’roll and Paul Anka. Instead of continuing to sing his songs, he started writing and performing them, which earned him an incredible success. His song Io che non vivo senza te sold an astonishing eighty million copies, including the brilliant cover by Elvis Presley and Dusty Springfield, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.
One night in 1972 a stoned casting director exclaimed that the “ghostly Pino Donaggio, descended from the skies above Venice” was the ideal man to collaborate on Nicolas Roeg’s mysterious Don’t Look Now. Luckily enough for film history, the director trusted his creative colleague and hired Donaggio to compose music for a few scenes that had already been shot. Following his career in singing and composing the music for Don’t Look Now, the winner of the WSA Lifetime Achievement Award laid the foundations for the second part of his exciting career. Brian De Palma played a fundamental role in his move from singing to composing, asking Pino Donaggio to write the scores for his most personal films, which he not only directed but for which he also wrote the screenplay. Pino Donaggio managed to come up with ever-surprising and sometimes complex compositions with a melodic, dissonant or jazzy sound, a perfect match for suspense and… horror films like Joe Dante’s. Yet, Pino Donaggio managed to escape typecasting by also working with Liliana Cavani and her many Italian colleagues. In 2008 he wrote the score for Martin Koolhoven’s Winter in Wartime, based on the book by Jan Terlouw. Pino Donaggio has remained a proud resident of Venice and in interviews he sometimes admits he regrets not moving to Hollywood when he was asked to do so. We’re left enjoying his film scores for, among others, Carrie, The Howling, The Fan, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Raising Cain, The Berlin Affair, Do you Like Hitchcock?, La Terra, Anthony Warrior of God and Passion.


Lifetime Achievement Award 2012

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