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Lalo Schifrin

Lalo Schifrin (born June 21, 1932)[1] is an Argentine

pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. He is best
known for his lm and TV scores, such as the "Theme
from Mission: Impossible". He has received four Grammy
Awards and six Oscar nominations. Schifrin, associated
with the jazz music genre, is also noted for work with
Clint Eastwood in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, particularly the Dirty Harry lms.

ano chair in his quintet. Schifrin immediately accepted

and moved to New York City. Schifrin wrote a second
extended composition for Gillespie, The New Continent,
which was recorded in 1962. In 1963, MGM, which had
Schifrin under contract, oered the composer his rst
Hollywood lm assignment with the African adventure
Rhino!.[1] Schifrin moved to Hollywood late that year.
He also radically re-arranged the theme for the popular
NBC-TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., altering original composer Jerry Goldsmith's theme to a jazzy melody
emphasizing utes and exotic percussion, which wound
up winning the Emmy award for Best TV Theme in 1965.

Early life

One of Schifrins most recognizable and enduring compositions is the theme music for the long-running TV series Mission: Impossible. It is a distinctive tune written in
the uncommon 5/4 time signature. Similarly, Schifrins
theme for the hugely successful Mannix private eye TV
show was composed a year later in a 3/4 waltz time;
Schifrin composed several other jazzy and bluesy numbers over the years as additional incidental music for the

Schifrin was born Boris Claudio Schifrin in Buenos

Aires to Jewish parents.[2] His father, Luis Schifrin, led
the second violin section of the orchestra at the Teatro
Coln for three decades.[1] At the age of six, Schifrin
began a six-year course of study on piano with Enrique
Barenboim, the father of the pianist and conductor Daniel
Barenboim. At age 16, Schifrin began studying piano
with the Greek-Russian expatriate Andreas Karalis, former head of the Kiev Conservatory, and harmony with
Argentine composer Juan Carlos Paz. During this time,
Schifrin also became interested in jazz.

Schifrins Tar Sequence from his Cool Hand Luke score

(also written in 5/4) was the longtime theme for the
Eyewitness News broadcasts on New York station WABCTV and other ABC aliates, as well as National Nine
News in Australia. CBS Television used part of the theme
of his St. Ives soundtrack for its golf broadcasts in the
1970s and early 1980s.

Although Schifrin studied sociology and law at the

University of Buenos Aires, it was music that captured his
attention.[1] At age 20, he successfully applied for a scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire. At night he played jazz
in the Paris clubs. In 1955, Schifrin played piano with
Argentinian bandoneon giant stor Piazzolla, and rep- Schifrins score for Coogans Blu in 1968 was the beresented his country at the International Jazz Festival in ginning of a long association with Clint Eastwood and director Don Siegel. Schifrins strong jazz blues ris were
evident in Dirty Harry.

Schifrins working score for 1973s The Exorcist was rejected by the lms director, William Friedkin. Schifrin
had written six minutes of dicult and heavy music
for the initial lm trailer, but audiences were reportedly frightened by the combination of sights and sounds.
Warner Bros. executives told Friedkin to instruct Schifrin
to tone it down with softer music, but Friedkin did not
relay the message. Schifrins nal score was thrown out
into the parking lot. Schifrin reported in an interview that
working with Friedkin was one of the most unpleasant experiences in his life.[3]

Later life and career

After returning home to Argentina, Schifrin formed a

jazz orchestra, a 16-piece band that became part of a popular weekly variety show on Buenos Aires TV. Schifrin
also began accepting other lm, television and radio assignments. In 1956, Schifrin met Dizzy Gillespie and offered to write an extended work for Gillespies big band.
Schifrin completed the work, Gillespiana, in 1958[1] (it
was recorded in 1960). Later that year Schifrin began
working as an arranger for Xavier Cugat's popular Latin In the 1998 lm Tango, Schifrin returned to the tango
music he had grown familiar with while working as stor
dance orchestra.
Piazzollas pianist in the mid-1950s. He brought tradiWhile in New York in 1960, Schifrin again met Gillespie,
tional tango songs to the lm as well as introducing comwho had by this time disbanded his big band for nancial
positions of his own in which tango is fused with jazz
reasons. Gillespie invited Schifrin to ll the vacant pi1

1964: New Fantasy (Verve)


In 1997, the composer founded Aleph Records.

He also wrote the main theme for Splinter Cell: Pandora

Schifrin made a cameo appearance in Red Dragon (2002)
as an orchestra conductor.
He is also widely sampled in hip-hop and trip-hop songs,
such as Heltah Skeltah's "Prowl" or Portishead's "Sour
Times". Both songs sample Schifrins Danube Incident,
one of many themes he composed for specic episodes of
the Mission: Impossible TV series.
On April 23, 2007, Lalo Schifrin presented a concert of
lm music for the Festival du Film Jules Verne Aventures
(aka Festival Jules Verne), at Le Grand Rex theatre in
Paris, France Europes biggest movie theater that was
caught by Festival leaders for a 73 and a half minute CD
named Lalo Schifrin: Le Concert Paris.

1965: Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts with Paul Horn

(RCA Victor)
1965: Once a Thief and Other Themes (Verve)
1966: The Dissection and Reconstruction of Music
From the Past as Performed By the Inmates of Lalo
Schifrins Demented Ensemble as a Tribute to the
Memory of the Marquis De Sade (Verve)
1968: Theres a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' On (Dot)
1971: Rock Requiem (Verve)
1976: Black Widow (CTI)
1977: Towering Toccata (CTI)
1978: Gypsies (Tabu)

In 2010, a ctionalised account of Lalo Schifrins creation

of the Mission: Impossible tune was featured in a Lipton
TV commercial aired in a number of countries around the

1979: No One Home (Tabu)

Alternative hip hop group Blue Scholars recorded at

track entitled Lalo Schifrin on their third album
Cinemetropolis (2011).

1993: More Jazz Meets the Symphony (Atlantic)


1982: Ins and Outs (Palo Alto)

1992: Jazz Meets the Symphony (Atlantic)

1993: Cantos Aztecas (Pro Arte)

1995: Firebird: Jazz Meets the Symphony No. 3
(Four Winds)
1996: Gillespiana (Aleph)

To date, Lalo Schifrin has won four Grammy Awards

(with twenty-one nominations), one Cable ACE Award,
one Emmy Award, and received six Oscar nominations,
and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.




1997: Lili'uokalani Symphony (Urtext Digital Classics)

1998: Jazz Mass in Concert (Aleph)
1998: Metamorphosis: Jazz Meets the Symphony No.
4 (Aleph)
1999: Mannix (Aleph)
1999: Latin Jazz Suite (Aleph)

1957: Spectrum (Epic)

1999: Jazz Goes to Holywood (Aleph)

1959: Piano Espaol (Tico) reissued as Lalol: The

Latin Sound of Lalo Schifrin (Roulette)

1999: The Fox (Aleph)

1962: Lalo = Brilliance (Roulette)

1962: Bossa Nova: New Brazilian Jazz (Audio Fidelity)
1962: Piano, Strings and Bossa Nova (MGM)
1963: Samba Para Dos with Bob Brookmeyer
1963: Between Broadway & Hollywood (MGM)
1964: Explorations with Louis Bellson (Roulette)

2000: Esperanto (Aleph)

2000: Bullitt (Aleph)
2000: Intersections: Jazz Meets the Symphony No. 5
2001: Schifrin/Schuller/Shapiro:

Piano Trios

2005: Letters From Argentina (Aleph)

2011: Invocation: Jazz Meets the Symphony No. 7



Albums featured

Soundtrack albums

1964: Gone with the Wave (soundtrack) (Colpix)

1965: The Liquidator (soundtrack) (MGM)
1965: The Cincinnati Kid (soundtrack) (MGM)
1966: Murderers Row (soundtrack) (Colgems)
1967: Cool Hand Luke (soundtrack) (Dot)
1967: Sol Madrid (soundtrack) (MGM)
1967: Music from Mission: Impossible (Dot)
1968: The Fox (soundtrack) (Warner Bros.)
1968: More Mission: Impossible (Paramount)
1968: Mannix (Paramount)
1968: Bullitt (soundtrack) (Warner Bros.)
1969: Che! (soundtrack) (Tetragrammaton)
1970: Kellys Heroes (soundtrack) (MGM)
1973: Enter the Dragon (soundtrack) (Warner
1977: Voyage of the Damned (soundtrack)

Luiz Bonfa Plays and Sings Bossa Nova (Verve,
1963) - arranger
With Candido Camero
Conga Soul (Roulette, 1962) - piano, composer, arranger
With Jos Carreras, Plcido Domingo and Luciano
The Three Tenors in Concert (London, 1990) - arranger
The Three Tenors in Concert 1994 (Atlantic, 1994)
- arranger
The 3 Tenors - Paris 1998 (Atlantic, 1998) - arranger
With Dizzy Gillespie
Gillespiana (Verve, 1960) - composer, piano and arranger
An Electrifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie
Quintet (Verve, 1961) - piano
Carnegie Hall Concert (Verve, 1961) - piano

1977: Rollercoaster (soundtrack) (MCA)

A Musical Safari (1961) - piano

1979: The Amityville Horror (soundtrack) (American International Pictures, Inc.)

Dizzy on the French Riviera (Philips, 1962) - piano,

composer and arranger

2005: Caveman ( 1981 lm )


Albums featured

With Cannonball Adderley

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra
(Capitol, 1970) - composer, conductor and arranger
With Maurice Andr

New Wave (Philips, 1962) - piano, arranger

The New Continent (Limelight, 1962) - piano, composer and arranger
Something Old, Something New (Philips, 1963) - arranger
Dizzy Gillespie and the Double Six of Paris (Philips,
1963) - arranger
Free Ride (Pablo, 1977) - keyboards, composer, arranger and conductor

Trompettissimo (Erato, 1994) - arranger and conductor

With Eddie Harris
With Count Basie

Bossa Nova (Vee-Jay, 1962) - piano, composer, arranger

Back with Basie (Roulette, 1962)

With Al Hirt
With Louis Bellson
Thunderbird (Impulse!, 1965) - arranger
With Luiz Bonf

Latin in the Horn (RCA Victor, 1966) - conductor

and arranger
With Jimmy Smith

The Cat (Verve Records, 1964) - conductor and arranger
The Cat Strikes Again (LaserLight Records, 1980)

With Sarah Vaughan

Sweet 'n' Sassy (1963 Roulette Records)

1967: Whos Minding the Mint?

1968: Braddock (TV movie)
1968: Bullitt
1968: Coogans Blu
1968: Hell in the Pacic
1968: Sol Madrid

With Cal Tjader

Several Shades of Jade (Verve Records, 1963)

Film scores

Feature lms, documentaries, and short subjects for

which Schifrin provided original music. These include
lms for which he composed the entire score, and others
for which he composed the theme or other partial contributions
1957: Venga a bailar el rock
1958: The Boss
1964: Joy House
1964: Rhino!
1964: See How They Run (TV movie)
1965: Blindfold
1965: Dark Intruder
1965: Once a Thief
1965: The Liquidator
1966: I Deal in Danger
1966: Murderers Row
1966: The Doomsday Flight (TV movie)
1966: The Making of a President: 1964 (TV documentary)
1966: Way...Way Out
1967: Cool Hand Luke
1967: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (TV

1968: The Brotherhood

1968: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (TV documentary)
1968: Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows
1969: Che!
1969: Eye of the Cat
1969: Mission Impossible Versus the Mob
1970: I Love My Wife
1970: Imago
1970: Kellys Heroes
1970: Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You
1970: The Aquarians (TV movie)
1970: The Mask of Sheba (TV movie)
1970: WUSA
1971: Dirty Harry
1971: Escape (TV movie)
1971: Mrs. Pollifax-Spy
1971: Pretty Maids All in a Row
1971: The Beguiled
1971: The Christian Licorice Store
1971: The Hellstrom Chronicle
1971: THX 1138
1972: Joe Kidd
1972: Prime Cut
1972: Rage
1972: The Wrath of God

1967: Sullivans Empire (TV movie)

1972: Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol (TV movie)

1967: The Fox

1973: Charley Varrick

1967: The Presidents Analyst

1973: Egan (TV movie)

1967: The Venetian Aair

1973: Enter the Dragon

1973: Harry in Your Pocket

1979: The Amityville Horror

1973: Hit!

1979: The Concorde ... Airport '79

1973: Hunter (TV movie)

1980: Brubaker

1973: Magnum Force

1980: Serial

1973: The Neptune Factor

1980: The Big Brawl

1974: Golden Needles

1980: The Competition

1974: Man on a Swing

1980: The Nude Bomb

1974: Night Games (TV movie)

1980: When Time Ran Out

1974: The Four Musketeers

1981: Buddy Buddy

1974: Up from the Ape (documentary)

1981: Caveman

1975: Delancey Street: The Crisis Within (TV


1981: La pelle

1975: Foster and Laurie (TV movie)

1975: Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case (TV movie)

1981: Loophole
1981: The Fridays of Eternity
1982: A Stranger Is Watching

1975: The Master Gunghter

1982: Amityville II: The Possession

1976: Brenda Starr (TV movie)

1982: Class of 1984

1976: Sky Riders

1982: Falcons Gold (TV movie)

1976: Special Delivery

1982: Fast-Walking

1976: St. Ives

1982: The Seduction

1976: The Eagle Has Landed

1982: Victims (TV movie)

1976: Voyage of the Damned

1982: Wait Until Dark (TV movie)

1977: Day of the Animals

1983: Doctor Detroit

1977: Good Against Evil (TV movie)

1983: Princess Daisy (TV movie)

1977: Rollercoaster

1983: Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (TV


1977: Telefon
1978: Nunzio

1983: Staright: The Plane That Couldn't Land (TV


1978: Return from Witch Mountain

1983: Sudden Impact

1978: The Cat from Outer Space

1983: The Osterman Weekend

1978: The Manitou

1983: The Sting II

1978: The Nativity (TV movie)

1984: Spraggue (TV movie)

1978: The Presidents Mistress (TV movie)

1984: Tank

1979: Boulevard Nights

1985: Bad Medicine

1979: Escape to Athena

1985: Bridge Across Time (TV movie)

1979: Institute for Revenge (TV movie)

1985: Command 5 (TV movie)

1979: Love and Bullets

1985: Private Sessions (TV movie)


1985: The Mean Season

2006: Abominable

1985: The New Kids

2007: Rush Hour 3

1986: Beverly Hills Madam (TV movie)

2007: Ultrasordine (short)

1986: Black Moon Rising

2008: Autour de 'Rush Hour 3' en 80 mots (video


1986: Kung Fu: The Movie (TV movie)

1986: The Ladies Club

2009: Mission Impossible (short)

1986: Triplecross (TV movie)

2011: No Rest for the Wicked: A Basil & Moebius

Adventure (short)

1987: Out on a Limb (TV movie)

1987: The Fourth Protocol
1988: Berln Blues
1988: Shakedown on the Sunset Strip (TV movie)
1988: The Dead Pool
1988: Earth Star Voyager (TV mini series)
1989: Original Sin (TV movie)
1989: Return from the River Kwai
1989: The Neon Empire (TV movie)
1990: Face to Face] (TV movie)
1991: F/X2
1993: The Beverly Hillbillies
1995: Manhattan Merengue!
1996: Scorpion Spring

2011: Love Story

2013: Sweetwater

5.1 Television scores

1965: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
1965: The Big Valley
1966: Blue Light
1966: T.H.E. Cat
1966: Mission: Impossible
1967: Mannix
1969: Medical Center
1974: Planet of the Apes
1975: Starsky and Hutch

1997: Money Talks

1976: Most Wanted

1998: Rush Hour

1982: Chicago Story

1998: Something to Believe In

1984: Glitter

1998: Tango

1987: Sparkys Magic Piano

2001: Culture Clash: West Meets East (video documentary short)

6 See also

2001: Jackie Chans Hong Kong Tour (video documentary short)

List of music arrangers

2001: Longshot

List of jazz arrangers

2001: Rush Hour 2

2002: Tom the Cat (short)
2003: Bringing Down the House
2004: After the Sunset
2004: Biyik (short)
2004: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

7 References
[1] Huey, Steve (1932-06-21). Allmusic biography. Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
[2] Brook, Vincent (2006). You should see yourself: Jewish
identity in postmodern American culture. Rutgers University Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-8135-3845-9.

[3] Schifrin interview with Miguel ngel Ordez & Pablo

Nieto for ''Score Magacine'' (translated from the original
Spanish)". Scoremagacine.com. 2005-05-20. Retrieved
[4] Sony Pictures. Tango: The Production. Production
notes. Sonypictures.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
[5] Aleph Records discography. Dougpayne.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
[6] Lipton Yellow Label Tea: Mission Impossible?". Popsop. Retrieved 2012-06-25.

External links
Lalo Schifrins ocial website
Lalo Schifrin at the Internet Movie Database
Cinema Retro attends Lalo Schifrins London concert
Aleph Records Discography - record label operated
by Schifrin
Two Interviews with Lalo Schifrin by Bruce Due
(June 23, 1988, and October 9, 2003)
Lalo Schifrin Interview for WeirdMusic.net / UKtop40Charts.com Magazine
Lalo Schifrin interview video at the Archive of
American Television


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