Maurice Jarre

Maurice Jarre
Maurice Jarre
Born September 13, 1924(1924-09-13)
Lyon, France
Died March 28, 2009(2009-03-28) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupations Composer, conductor
Years active 1958–2001

Maurice-Alexis Jarre (13 September 1924 – 28 March 2009)[1][2][3] was a French composer and conductor.

Although he composed several concert works, he is best known for his film scores, and is particularly known for his collaborations with film director David Lean. Jarre composed the scores to all of Lean's films since Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Other notable scores of his include The Message (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 forty-two weeks on the U.K. singles chart chart; the biggest hit was 'Somewhere My Love' (to his tune Lara's Theme, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster) by the Michael Sammes Singers, which reached number fourteen in 1966 and spent thirty-eight weeks on the chart.

Jarre was a three time Academy Award winner, for Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984), all of which were directed by David Lean. He was Oscar nominated a total of eight times. His son is the electronic composer Jean Michel Jarre.


Early life

Jarre was born in Lyon, France, 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 the Théâtre National Populaire and recorded his first movie score in France in 1951.[6]

Film scoring

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), the iconic racing film for director John Frankenheimer, and in between had another great success in 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 a British 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), 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 organ, digeridoo, fujara, a battery of exotic percussion and three ondes Martenot (which feature in several of Jarre's other scores, including Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, The Bride) and Prancer (1989).

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 composer Alex 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 passing, "(He) is to be well remembered for his lasting contribution to film music...we all have been enriched by his legacy."[8]

His 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.[3]

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

Music style

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 Attraction, The Year of Living Dangerously, Firefox and No Way Out. A number of his scores from that era also feature electronic/acoustic blends, such as Gorillas in the Mist, Dead Poets Society, The Mosquito Coast and Jacob's Ladder.


Jarre received three Academy Awards and was nominated a total of eight times, all in the category of Best Original Score. 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:


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 movies as Tombstone and Glory. From 1984 to his death[9] he was married to Fong F. Khong (1984–2009).

Filmography and awards

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
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
1968 Isadora
Villa Rides
1969 Topaz
1970 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 Shōgun
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
1988 Cocktail
Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Score
1989 Dead Poets Society BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
1990 Jacob's Ladder
Ghost Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Score
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


Maurice Jarre passed away on Sunday, 28 March 2009 after a losing battle with cancer.[10]

See also


External links

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См. также в других словарях:

  • Maurice Jarre — (* 13. September 1924 in Lyon; † 29. März 2009 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien) war ein französischer Komponist, der hauptsächlich für seine epischen Filmmusiken bekannt ist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Wirken 2 Privatleben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maurice Jarre — (Lyon, Francia, 13 de septiembre de 1924 Los Ángeles, Estados Unidos, 29 de marzo de 2009),[1] compositor estadounidense de origen francés. Contenido 1 Biografía …   Wikipedia Español

  • Maurice Jarre — (Lyon, Francia, 13 de septiembre de 1924). Aunque nacido en Francia obtuvo la nacionalidad estadounidense. Padre del famoso virtuoso de los sintetizadores francés Jean Michel Jarre …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Maurice Jarre — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Jarre. Maurice Jarre Données clés Nom de naissance Maurice Alexis Jarre Naissance 13 septembre 1924 Lyon, Rhône Alpes, France …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Maurice Jarre — …   Википедия

  • Jarre — is the last name of a family of notable people: People * Maurice Jarre (born 1924), film score composer and his offspring: ** Jean Michel Jarre (born 1948), composer of electronic and new wave music; ** Kevin Jarre, screenwriter; half brother of… …   Wikipedia

  • Jarre — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Cyrillus Jarre (1878−1952), Franziskaner Erzbischof in Tsinan, China Jean Michel Jarre (* 1948), Synthesizer Musiker, Sohn von Maurice Jarre Maurice Jarre (1924–2009), Filmmusikkomponist Nicolaus Jarre… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Maurice (prenom) — Maurice (prénom) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Maurice. Sommaire 1 Sens et origine du nom 2 Variantes 3 Po …   Wikipédia en Français

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