Berlin pays homage to Maurice Jarre

French composer to receive Golden Bear

BERLIN — The Berlin Film Festival will pay tribute to French composer Maurice Jarre with an homage and a honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement.

Renowned for his scores for many of the works of David Lean, such as “Doctor Zhivago,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Ryan’s Daughter,” the composer will receive the award on Feb. 12. The ceremony will be followed by a screening of “Lawrence of Arabia” at the Kino International.

Famous for his sweeping symphonic instrumentations and the richness in variety of his musical arrangements, Jarre’s scores have often become as well known as the cinematic works they accompany.

“Film composers often are in the shadows of great directors and acting stars,” said Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick. “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.”

Born in Lyon in 1924, Jarre began his musical career with studies in percussion and conducting at the Conservatoire de Paris and became the musical director of the Theater National Populaire in 1950. His international breakthrough came in 1962 with his arrangements for Lean’s desert epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” which garnered Jarre the first of many Oscars and marked the beginning of a decade-long friendship with the director.

Jarre’s work with Lean on 1965’s “Doctor Zhivago” and “A Passage to India” in 1984 earned him two more Academy Awards.

Jarre also wrote the score for 1970’s “Ryan’s Daughter,” which screens as part of this year’s Retrospective, “70mm — Bigger than Life.”

Over the course of his career, Jarre composed music for more than 150 international film productions, including works by John Frankenheimer, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Luchino Visconti, Peter Weir and Volker Schloendorff.

The Berlinale runs Feb. 5-15.

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