Maurice-Alexis Jarre (13 September 1924 – 28 March 2009)[1][2][3] was a French composer and conductor. His son is the electronic composer Jean Michel Jarre.

Although he composed several concert works, Jarre is best known for his film scores, particularly for his collaborations with film director David Lean. Jarre composed the scores to all of Lean's films from Lawrence of Arabia (1962) on. Notable scores for other directors include The Train (1964), Mohammad, Messenger of God (1976),Witness (1985) and Ghost (1990).

Jarre was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[4] Three of his compositions spent a total of 42 weeks on the UK singles chart; the biggest hit was "Somewhere My Love" (to his tune "Lara's Theme", with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster) by the Mike Sammes Singers, which reached Number 14 in 1966 and spent 38 weeks on the chart.

Jarre was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning three in the Best Original Score category for Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984), all of which were directed by David Lean. He also won four Golden Globes, two BAFTA Awards, and a Grammy Award.

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit][edit | edit source]

Jarre was born in LyonFrance, in 1924, the son of Gabrielle Renée (née Boullu) and André Jarre, a radio technical director.[5] He first enrolled in the engineering school at the Sorbonne, but decided to pursue music courses instead. He left the Sorbonne against his father's will and enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris to study composition and harmony and chose percussion as his major instrument.[3] He became director of theThéâtre National Populaire and recorded his first film score in France in 1951.[6]

Film scoring[edit][edit | edit source]

In 1961 Jarre's music career experienced a major change when British film producer Sam Spiegel asked him to write the score for the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, directed by David Lean.[7] The acclaimed score won Jarre his first Academy Award and he would go on to compose the scores to all of Lean's subsequent films. He followed with The Train (1964) and Grand Prix (1966), both for director John Frankenheimer, and in between had another great success in David Lean's Doctor Zhivago, which included the lyricless tune "Lara's Theme" (later the tune for the song "Somewhere My Love"), and which earned him his second Oscar. He worked with Alfred Hitchcock on Topaz (1969); though Hitchcock's experiences on the film were unhappy, he was satisfied with Jarre's score, telling him "I have not given you a great film, but you have given me a great score." His score for David Lean's Ryan's Daughter (1970), set in Ireland, completely eschews traditional Irish music styles, owing to Lean's preferences. 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 as well as by others 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).

He was again nominated for an Academy Award for scoring The Message in 1976 for the director and producer Moustapha Akkad. He followed with Witness (1985) and Dead Poets Society (1989), for which he won aBritish Academy Award.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Jarre turned his hand to science fiction, with scores for The Island at the Top of the World (1974), Dreamscape (1984), Enemy Mine (1985), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). The latter is written for full orchestra, augmented by a chorus, four grand pianos, a pipe organdigeridoofujara, a battery of exotic percussion, and three ondes Martenot, which feature in several of Jarre's other scores, including Lawrence of ArabiaJesus of NazarethThe Bride and Prancer. The balalaika features prominently in Jarre's score for Doctor Zhivago.

In 1990 Jarre was again nominated for an Academy Award scoring the supernatural love story/thriller Ghost. His music for the final scene of the film is based on "Unchained Melody" composed by fellow film composerAlex North.[3] Other films for which he provided the music include his passionate love theme from Fatal Attraction (1987), and the moody electronic soundscapes of After Dark, My Sweet (1990). He was well respected by other composers including John Williams, who stated on Jarre's death, "(He) is to be well remembered for his lasting contribution to film music...we all have been enriched by his legacy."[8]

Jarre's television work includes the score for the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977), directed by Franco ZeffirelliShōgun (1980), and the theme for PBS's Great Performances.[3]

Jarre scored his last film in 2001, a television film about the Holocaust entitled Uprising.[3]

Music style[edit][edit | edit source]

Jarre wrote mainly for orchestras, but began to favour synthesized music in the 1980s. Jarre pointed out that his electronic score for Witness was actually more laborious, time-consuming and expensive to produce than an orchestral score. Jarre's electronic scores from the 80s also include Fatal AttractionThe Year of Living DangerouslyFirefox and No Way Out. A number of his scores from that era also feature electronic/acoustic blends, such as Gorillas in the MistDead Poets SocietyThe Mosquito Coast and Jacob's Ladder.

Awards[edit][edit | edit source]

Jarre received three Academy Awards and received a total of nine nominations, eight for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song. He also won three Golden Globes and was nominated for ten.

The American Film Institute ranked Jarre's score for Lawrence of Arabia #3 on their list of the greatest film scores. His scores for the following films were also nominated for the list:

Numerous additional awards include ASCAP's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.[9]

Family[edit][edit | edit source]

Jarre was married four times, the first three marriages ending in divorce. His marriage to Francette Pejot (in the 1940s, after World War II), produced a son, Jean Michel Jarre, a French composer who is one of the pioneers in electronic music. In 1965, he married French actress Dany Saval. Together they had a daughter, Stephanie Jarre. Jarre next married American actress Laura Devon (1967–1984), resulting in him adopting her son, Kevin Jarre, a screenwriter, with credits on such films as Tombstone and Glory. From 1984 to his death[10] he was married to Fong F. Khong (1984–2009).

Death[edit][edit | edit source]

Maurice Jarre died on 28 March 2009 after a battle with cancer.[11]

Filmography and awards[edit][edit | edit source]

Partial list of notable films:
Year Title Notes
1958 Head Against the Wall
1959 Eyes Without a Face
1962 Lawrence of Arabia Academy Award for Best Original Score

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score

The Longest Day
1963 Sundays and Cybele Nominated - Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment
1964 The Train
1965 The Collector
Doctor Zhivago Academy Award for Best Original Score

Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (1967)

1966 Is Paris Burning? Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
Grand Prix
The Professionals
1967 The Night of the Generals
1968 Villa Rides
1969 Topaz
1970 The Only Game in Town
Ryan's Daughter
1971 Plaza Suite
1972 The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Song ("Marmalade, Molasses & Honey")
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
1973 Ash Wednesday
The Mackintosh Man
1974 The Island at the Top of the World
1975 The Man Who Would Be King Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
1976 The Last Tycoon
1977 Mohammad, Messenger of God Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Score
Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)
1979 The Magician of Lublin
1980 The American Success Company
The Last Flight of Noah's Ark
1981 Lion of the Desert
1982 Firefox
The Year of Living Dangerously
1984 A Passage to India Academy Award for Best Original Score

Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score

Top Secret!
1985 Witness Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Score

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Enemy Mine
1986 The Mosquito Coast Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
1987 No Way Out
Fatal Attraction
Gaby: A True Story
Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Score

1989 Chances Are
Dead Poets Society BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
1990 Ghost Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Score
Jacob's Ladder
Almost an Angel
Solar Crisis
1991 Only the Lonely
Fires Within
1992 School Ties
1993 Fearless
Mr. Jones
1994 The River Wild Unused music for the main title sequence, Jarre was replaced by Jerry Goldsmith
1995 A Walk in the Clouds Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
1996 The Sunchaser
1999 Sunshine Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
2000 I Dreamed of Africa
2001 Uprising Television film

See also[edit][edit | edit source]

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