Philippe Rombi is guest of honour at the 24th World Soundtrack Awards

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News 20 Mar 2024
Film Fest Gent is proud to welcome French film composer, pianist and conductor Philippe Rombi as guest of honour at the 24th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards. Rombi’s work can be heard in the majority of François Ozon’s films; their collaborations include Swimming Pool, Jeune et jolie, Potiche and most recently Mon crime. Other popular film scores are Joyeux Noël, directed by Christian Carion, comedies like Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis and Rien à déclarer, both directed by Dany Boon and Le Temps des secrets, directed by Christophe Barratier. His work has been recognised numerous times by the César Awards and Lumière Awards in his native France and by the International Film Music Critics Association.

On Wednesday 16 October 2024, Film Fest Gent brings together the crème de la crème of the international film music industry in Muziekcentrum de Bijloke, at the World Soundtrack Awards Ceremony & Concert. The festival is thrilled to announce Philippe Rombi as this year’s guest of honour. A selection of his work will be performed by the Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by maestro Dirk Brossé. Philippe Rombi is no stranger to Film Fest Gent; in 2008 he was a member of the international jury of the festival.

Philippe Rombi grew up in the Southwest of France in a musical family. His older brother’s record collection introduced him to the magic of film scores. His passion for music brought him to the Conservatoire National de Région in Marseille where he studied piano, harmony and conducting with Léa Roussel, Pol Mule and Pierre Barbizet. After completing his studies in Marseille, Rombi enrolled in the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Musique (ENMP) in Paris where he studied composition. A partnership between ENMP and La Fémis film school was established by Rombi’s teacher, French film composer Antoine Duhamel. It was through this partnership that Rombi made his first film scores for student films by - among others - Isabelle Broué.

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The jury of the 35th edition in 2008: (left to right) Andreas Dresen, Arne Sierens, Vibeke Windeløv, Corky Hale, Simon Ellis and Philippe Rombi.

These early compositions were the basis of a very fruitful collaboration between Philippe Rombi and director François Ozon. Their partnership began in 1999 with the film Les Amants criminels and led to twelve more films. The symphonic work of Rombi blends perfectly with the ambiguity of Ozon’s characters as his scores find the balance between intimism, lyricism and fantasy. He composed the scores for Les Amants criminels (1999), Sous le sable (2000), Swimming Pool (2003), 5x2 (2004), Angel (2007), Ricky (2009), Potiche (2010), Dans la maison (2012), Jeune et jolie (2013), Une nouvelle amie (2014), Frantz (2016), L’Amant double (2017) and Mon crime (2023).

His work with other directors is equally noteworthy. His first public successes were the result of his work with director Christian Carion, Une hirondelle a fait le printemps (2001) and Joyeux Noël (2005), which was nominated for an Oscar and for which he earned his first César nomination. This composition also marks the beginning of his collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and soprano Natalie Dessay. In 2005 Philippe Rombi attended the 32nd edition of Film Fest Gent where Joyeux Noël opened the festival. His arrangement and composition of Schubert’s “An die Musik” for Agnès Jaoui’s Comme une image (2004) was later used in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (2012). Dany Boon called upon Philippe Rombi for his hugely successful comedies La Maison du bonheur (2006), Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (2008) and Rien à déclarer (2011). In recent years Christophe Barratier employed the talent of Rombi for his films La Nouvelle guerre des boutons (2011), l’Outsider (2016), Envole-moi (2021) and Le Temps des secrets (2022), marking the start of an exciting collaboration.

With over 50 credits to his name, Philippe Rombi has become an established name in the French film and music industry. His most recent works include the two psychological thrillers Boîte noire (2021) and Visions (2023) directed by Yann Gozlan, the crime comedy Mon crime and the biopic about French playwright Marcel Pagnol, Le Temps des secrets. His work has been lauded and nominated for numerous awards including the César Award for Best Original Music (Joyeux Noël, Dans la maison, Frantz and Boîte noire) and the IFMCA Award for Best Original Score for a Drama (Angel, Le Temps des secrets), Best Original Score for an Action/ Adventure/ Thriller Film (Dans la maison), Best Original Score for an Animated Feature (Astérix le domaine des dieux) and Best Original Score for a Comedy (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, Potiche and Mon crime).

As well as composing, Philippe Rombi often conducts the orchestra himself during recording sessions. In 2014 Rombi conducted the Brussels Philharmonic for the recording of his score for Astérix et Obélix: le domaine des dieux. Between film projects, Rombi also composes concert works, such as the symphonic poem Symphonic Hymn for Harmony commissioned for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and arranges some of his compositions for prestigious soloists like Renaud Capuçon and Alexandre Tharaud.


This year's World Soundtrack Awards Ceremony & Concert will be held at Muziekcentrum de Bijloke in Ghent on 16 October. Tickets are now availabe at the link above.