Born in Lebanon Gabriel Yared taught himself music. He has since gone on to become one of the leading composers in the film world. He began his career by orchestrating songs from such artists as Gilbert Becaud, Charles Aznavour and Françoise Hardy. He composed the soundtracks for more than 70 films and has worked closely with such directors as Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Jacques Annaud. Yared maintained a very close-knit relationship with director Anthony Minghella, composing the soundtracks for his films, The English Patient, Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Breaking and Entering. His score for The English Patient won him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and an Emmy. Yared is a loyal visitor and friend of the Ghent Film Festival. During the most recent film festival he was one of the ten award-winning composers who were feted during the 10th World Soundtrack Awards.
Shigeru Umebayashi is a celebrated Asian film music composer, having composed scores for Chinese directors such as Wong Kar-Wai and Zhang Yimou. He has composed scores for more than 40 films including such blockbusters as House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower by Zhang Yimou. Moreover, Umebayashi is also the favourite composer of Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai, composing the scores for In The Mood For Love and 2046. In 2009, Umebayashi performed two sold-out concerts during the 36th Ghent Film Festival.
Alberto Iglesias is primarily known as Pedro Almodovar's in-house composer (Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Hable Con Ella, La Mala Educacion, Volver). In 2006 he won the European Film Award for Best Composer with his score for Volver and the World Soundtrack Award for Best Composer and Best Soundtrack (The Constant Gardener). He was also nominated twice for an Oscar (The Constant Gardener and The Kite Runner). He is widely considered to be the most important Spanish composer of the moment.
Dirk Brossé has worked for the Ghent Film Festival for many years now. Being a composer himself, he feels at ease in all musical genres and he is an internationally renowned conductor. In Belgium he conducted the Brussels Philharmonic orchestra of Flanders and the National Orchestra of Belgium, and abroad the London Philharmonic, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Elgin Orchestra Chicago, the Camerata St. Petersburg and many others. He is currently Music Director of 'The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia' and Conductor in Residence of the World Soundtrack Academy. In Tallinn we'll hear his suite from Daens.
Arvo Pärt plays a home game with this concert. The Estonian composer started composing film music during his studies at the Tallinn Conservatory. On 2 December he will perform his most famous piece, 'Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten', a striking example of Pärt's distinctive tintinnabuli style (ed: tintinnabilu = little bells (Lat.)).
The Ghent Film Festival and the World Soundtrack Academy together with the Brussels Philharmonic - the Orchestra of Flanders and conductor Dirk Brossé pride themselves on a fine tradition when it comes to the live performance of film music. In Ghent they have already staged concerts with music by Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Ennio Morricone, John Williams and John Barry. At the invitation of the European Film Academy they have even organised and performed two concerts devoted to film music in Berlin. So this is the third time that the Ghent Film Festival and the World Soundtrack Academy will be performing in another location, this time at the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn. In so doing they contribute to the international reputation of the City of Ghent, which UNESCO has proclaimed 'Creative City of Music'.