Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat

French - Music Director
Birth Date:
23, August 1961
Birth Place:
Paris, France
Review:
Biography

Alexandre Michel Gerard Desplat born in 23 August 1961 is a French film composer. He has scored several successful films in the late 2000s, including The Golden Compass, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He won a Golden Globe for The Painted Veil. He has received four Academy Award nominations, five BAFTA nominations, and five Golden Globe nominations, winning the latter award for his work on The Painted Veil in 2006.

Early life

Desplat was born in Paris to a French father and a Greek mother who met at the University of California, Berkeley. After their marriage, they moved back to France, where Alexandre was born. At the age of five, he began playing piano. He also became proficient on trumpet and flute. He studied with Claude Ballif, Iannis Xenakis in France and Jack Hayes in the U.S. Desplat’s musical interests were wide, and he was also influenced by South American and African artists and teachers, among whom were Carlinhos Brown and Ray Lema. Desplat swiftly became skilled, both as a performer and a composer.

Career

Desplat has composed extensively for films, in France and in Hollywood—scores and incidental music for over 100 films including Lapse of Memory (1992), Family Express (1992), Regarde Les Hommes Tomber (1994), Les Peches Mortels (1995), Cesar-nominated Un Heros Tres Discret (1996), Une Minute de Silence (1998), Sweet Revenge (1998), Le Chateau des Singes (1999), Home Sweet Home (2001), Reines d’un Jour (2001), the Cesar-nominated Sur mes Levres (2002), Rire et Chatiment (2003), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010).

Desplat has composed individual songs that have been sung in films by such artists as Akhenaton, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Valerie Lemercier, Miosotis, and Catherine Ringer. He has also written music for the theatre, including pieces performed at the Comedie Française. Desplat has conducted performances of his music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Desplat has also given Master Classes at La Sorbonne in Paris and the Royal College of Music in London.

In 2007, he composed the scores for Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass; Zach Helm’s directorial debut Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium with American composer Aaron Zigman; and the Ang Lee movie Lust, Caution. Prior to these break-out works, he contributed scores for The Luzhin Defence, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Syriana, Birth, Hostage, Casanova, The Nest and The Painted Veil, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and the 2006 World Soundtrack Award. He won the 2007 BMI Film Music Award, 2007 World Soundtrack Award, 2007 European Film Award, and received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for The Queen. He also won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Best Film Music in The Beat that My Heart Skipped. In 2008, Desplat received his second Oscar nomination for David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Desplat received his third Oscar nomination and a BAFTA nomination for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2010, both of which were won by Michael Giacchino for Up.

Recently, Desplat has composed music for Largo Winch, based on the Belgian comic; Afterwards a French-Canadian psychological thriller film directed by Gilles Bourdos in English; Anne Fontaine’s Coco avant Chanel based on the life of designer Coco Chanel; Robert Guediguian’s L’Armee du Crime; Cheri, reuniting him with director Stephen Frears, whom he collaborated with on The Queen; Un Prophete reuniting with director Jacques Audiard; Julie & Julia directed by Nora Ephron; Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson and based on the novel by Roald Dahl; New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz; Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer (film); Tamara Drewe; The Special Relationship; and The King’s Speech which earned Desplat his fourth Oscar nomination.

Desplat’s upcoming projects include The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick (which he actually recorded in early 2010), Largo Winch 2, A Better Life, La Fille de Puisatier and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

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