French composer Alexandre Desplat is the son of a Greek mother and a French father who met in the U.S. while both were attending the University of California at Berkeley, married in San Francisco, and settled in France. He began studying the piano at age five, later switching to trumpet and then flute. Fascinated by both music and film, he decided to pursue a career as a composer of movie scores. Starting with Ki Lo Sa? in 1985, his scores for television and film had reached a total of 100 by 2007. In these works, he developed a contemplative style that did not attempt to respond on a point-by-point basis to the action onscreen, but rather set its own complementary mood. He began to attract attention in the U.S. with The Luzhin Defence in 2000, which had a soundtrack album released in America by Silva Screen Records. His music for Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) earned a Golden Globe nomination, and with that recognition he began to work increasingly on English-language films distributed by the Hollywood studios, including Birth (2004), The Upside of Anger (2005), Hostage (2005), Casanova (2005), Syriana (2005) (also nominated for a Golden Globe), Firewall (2006), and The Painted Veil (2006) (a Golden Globe Award winner), all of which produced soundtrack albums. The Queen (2006) earned him his first Academy Award nomination.
Desplat was born in Paris to a French father and a Greek mother. At the age of five, he began playing piano. He also became proficient on trumpet and flute. He studied with Claude Ballif and Iannis Xenakis in France and Jack Hayes in the U.S. Desplat’s musical interests were wide, and he was also influenced by South American and African artists and teachers, among whom were Carlinhos Brown and Ray Lema.
Desplat has composed extensively for films, in France and in Hollywood - scores and incidental music for over 100 films including “Lapse of Memory” (1992), “Family Express” (1992), “Regarde les hommes tomber” (1994), “Les Péchés Mortels” (1995), César-nominated “Un héros très discret” (1996), “Une Minute de Silence” (1998), “Sweet Revenge” (1998), “Le Château des Singes” (1999), “Home Sweet Home” (2001), “Reines D’Un Jour” (2001), the César-nominated “Sur Mes Lèvres” (2002), “Rire et Châtiment” (2003), “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (2010).
Desplat has composed individual songs that have been sung in films by such artists as Akhenaton, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Valérie Lemercier, Miosotis, Catherine Ringer and Renée Fleming. He has also written music for the theatre, including pieces performed at the Comédie Française. Desplat has conducted performances of his music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Desplat has also given Master Classes at La Sorbonne in Paris and the Royal College of Music in London.
In 2007, he composed the scores for Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass”, Zach Helm’s directorial debut “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” with American composer Aaron Zigman and the Ang Lee movie “Lust, Caution”. Prior to these break-out works, he contributed scores for “The Luzhin Defence”, “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, “Syriana”, “Birth”, “Hostage”, “Firewall”, “Casanova”, “Nid de Guêpes” and “The Painted Veil”, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and the 2006 World Soundtrack Award. He won the 2007 BMI Film Music Award, 2007 World Soundtrack Award, 2007 European Film Award, and received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for “The Queen”. He also won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Best Film Music in “De Battre Mon Cœur S’est Arrêté”. In 2008 Desplat received his second Oscar nomination for David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. Desplat received his third Oscar nomination and a BAFTA nomination for “Fantastic Mr. Fox” in 2010, both of which were won by Michael Giacchino for “Up”.
Recently, Desplat has composed music for “Largo Winch”, based on the Belgian comic; “Afterwards”, a French-Canadian psychological thriller film directed by Gilles Bourdos in English; Anne Fontaine’s “Coco Avant Chanel” based on the life of designer Coco Chanel; Robert Guédiguian’s “L’armée du crime”; “Chéri”, reuniting him with director Stephen Frears, whom he collaborated with on “The Queen”; “Un Prophète” reuniting with director Jacques Audiard; “Julie & Julia” directed by Nora Ephron; “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, directed by Wes Anderson and based on the novel by Roald Dahl; “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, directed by Chris Weitz; Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer”; “Tamara Drewe”; “The Special Relationship”; “The King’s Speech”, which earned Desplat his fourth Oscar nomination; and “Largo Winch II: The Burma Conspiracy”.
In early 2011, Desplat began to write the music to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”. He reunited with director David Yates, who offered Desplat the opportunity to score the second part.
Desplat’s upcoming projects include “The Tree Of Life”, directed by Terrence M alick (which he actually recorded in early 2010), “A Better Life” and “La Fille Du Puisatier”, Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” and George Clooney’s “The Ides Of March”.
Desplat started 2012 with “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” and continued with scores for “The Spider’s House”, the Florent Emilio Siri-directed biopic “Cloclo”, Jacques Audiard’s “De Rouille Et D’os”, Ben Affleck’s “Argo”, DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise Of The Guardians”, Matteo Garrone’s “Reality”, Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty”.
Watch and listen the vídeos: The Imitation Game (full soundtrack), Grand Hotel Budapest (full soundtrack),
The Meadow, Unbroken (full soundtrack), Top Tracks (97 videos), The Painted Veil (full soundtrack), Twillight New Moon (full soundtrack), The Wonder of Life, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (full soundtrack), Lost, The Imitation Game Suite
(conducting the London Symphony Orchestra), Harry Potter (52 videos), Griet's Theme, Childhood, The
Monuments Men, Mix (50 videos), Mix (50 videos).