jarre (1924 – 2009)


Maurice-Alexis Jarre (1924 –2009) French composer and conductor, is famous for his film scores, and particularly for his collaborations with film director David Lean.  Born in Lyon, France, he left the Sorbonne and enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris to study composition and harmony and chose percussion as his major instrument. His life turning point was when in 1961 British film producer Sam Spiegel asked him to write the score for the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, directed by David Lean. Jarre received an Academy Award and went on to compose the scores to all of Lean’s subsequent films. He got fame and a second award for  “Lara’s Theme in  Doctor Zhivago and Grand Prix (1966), the iconic racing film for director John Frankenheimer. He worked with Alfred Hitchcock on Topaz (1969). The  song “It was a Good Time,” from Ryan’s Daughter went on to be recorded by musical stars such as Liza Minnelli who used it in her critically acclaimed television special Liza with a Z during the 1970s. He contributed the music for Luchino Visconti’s The Damned (1969), and John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King (1975). Other greats hits were the scores for The Message ( 1976);  A Passage to India (1984); Witness (1985); Dead Poets Society (1989); Ghost (1990);  the love theme from Fatal Attraction (1987). Jarre’s television work includes the score for the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977), directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Shōgun (1980), and the theme for PBS’s Great Performances. Composer John Williams, said of Jarre: “(He) is to be well remembered for his lasting contribution to film music…we all have been enriched by his legacy (eredità).”

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