Berlin Film Festival to Honor Film Composer Jarre | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 17.12.2008
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Berlin Film Festival to Honor Film Composer Jarre

Organizers of the 2009 Berlinale Film Festival say a special lifteime achievement award will go to French film-music composer Maurice Jarre, who scored a string of Hollywood classics.

Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in a film still from Lawrence of Arabia

Jarre won his first Oscar for 'Lawrence of Arabia', starring Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif

Next year's Berlin Film Festival will honor Jarre, including awarding the composer a Golden Bear for his lifetime achievement. The festival will also dedicate its Homage section to the films he worked on.

From Lyon to Hollywood

"Film composers often are in the shadows of great directors and acting stars. It's different with Maurice Jarre. The music of Doctor Zhivago, like much of his work, is world-famous and remains unforgotten in the history of cinema," Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement.

Golden Bear statue to be awarded by the Berlinale

Jarre will get the coveted Golden Bear

Over the course of his career, Jarre worked on more than 150 international film productions, including movies from such leading directors as John Frankenheimer, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Luchino Visconti and Peter Weir.

Born in Lyon, France, in 1924, Jarre's international breakthrough came in 1962 when he worked on David Lean's epic "Lawrence of Arabia", for which the composer won his first Oscar.

Jarre, 84, has won Academy Awards for several of his film compositions including both "Doctor Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia." He is slated to pick up the prize on Feb. 12, during the 59th Berlinale.

Jarre known for symphonic sound

Jarre began his musical career with studies in percussion and conducting at the Conservatoire de Paris. In 1952, he made his debut as a film composer for George Franju's "Hotel des Invalides." By the mid-sixties, Jarre had written the scores of several French pictures before being discovered by Hollywood.

"While he is well-known for his sweeping symphonic instrumentalisations, he has also worked with small ensembles or with solo instruments. The prominent use of percussion is one of his hallmarks," the festival said.

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