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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Sunday, June 21

Lalo Schifrin

Synopsis

Today's the birthday of the versatile Argentinean-born American composer, arranger and jazz pianist, Boris Claudio "Lalo" Schifrin, who was born in Buenos Aires on today's date in 1932. From his background, you'd guess Schifrin was destined for a concert career. His father was a violinist in the orchestra of Argentina's premiere opera house, the Teatro Colon. As a boy he studied with Enrique Barenboim, father of pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim, and in Paris he studied composition with Olivier Messiaen and Charles Koechlin.

But Lalo Schifrin also loved jazz, and after studies by day with Messiaen, his nights were spent performing in Parisian jazz clubs. Eventually Dizzy Gillespie commissioned him to write for his band.

Around the same time, Schrifin began writing film and TV scores. When he started working on the TV series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," he came into contact with legendary film composer Bernard Herrmann, who became a friend and mentor. Schifrin has written more than 100 scores for film and television, garnering Grammy awards and Oscar nominations along the way. Undoubtedly his most famous composition is this catchy theme of the 1960s TV series, "Mission Impossible"—and still used in the subsequent movie remakes.

For the concert hall, Schifrin has composed concertos and arrangements for cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and guitarist Angel Romero, and was the arranger of choice for those "Three Tenor" song medleys sung by Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo.

Music Played in Today's Program

Lalo Schifrin (b. 1932) Hommage a Ravel Eaken Piano Trio Naxos 8.559062

Lalo Schifrin (b. 1932) Theme fr Mission Impossible studio orchestra BBC Records 763

Additional Information

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