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Winner 2015 - Elliot Goldenthal

Elliot Goldenthal is one of the most versatile composers of contemporary music. He has written music for film, opera, ballet and theatre as well as symphonic and chamber pieces. He was honoured with the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award and the World Soundtrack Award for the best original score for the film Frida (2002) directed by Julie Taymor. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Award, two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, three Grammy Awards, two Tony Awards and three Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) Awards. He also won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award (LAFCA) and six awards of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He received the title of the Best Composer of the Year during World Soundtrack Awards in 2003, and was honoured with the ASCAP Founders Award in 2015.
Raised in Brooklyn in a multicultural family, Goldenthal has been exposed to various musical genres and styles since his childhood. This helped him to develop his characteristic style and unusual ability to blend various musical genres and techniques in a unique and innovative manner. In his music, Goldenthal balances between atonal dissonance and classical harmony, often within a single phrase, and combines traditional orchestral music with jazz, rock or electronic music. He feels equally good in pieces arranged for a wide range of instruments and voices and in chamber works composed both for traditional and unconventional ensembles. Goldenthal is very highly appreciated for his inimitable dark, almost dense style. None of the contemporary film music composers uses his talent for the creation of works in so many different musical genres. 

Elliot Goldenthal’s most outstanding film works are scores for films directed by Julie Taymor: Titus (1999), Frida (2002), Across The Universe (2007), The Tempest (2010) and recently A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015) and for films directed by Neil Jordan: Interview with the Vampire (1994) and Michael Collins (1996), for which he received nominations for the Academy Award. Apart from that, he composed music for films such as Alien 3 (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Heat (1995), A Time To Kill (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), Batman & Robin (1997), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and Public Enemies (2009). 

In 1996, Goldenthal wrote a symphonic piece Fire Water Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio commissioned by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The work was performed, among others, at Carnegie Hall and at the Kennedy Center. A year later, Goldenthal was commissioned by the American Ballet Theatre to compose a ballet Othello, which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera. Until now the ballet has been performed, among others, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Music Center, the Kennedy Center, Den Norske Opera & Ballett in Oslo and Opéra National de Paris in Paris. In 2013, Goldenthal reworked this ballet for the needs of a new symphonic work Othello Symphony, which was recorded with the participation of the AUKSO Orchestra conducted by Marek Moś in Alvernia Studios near Krakow. In May 2015, Othello will be performed again at the Metropolitan Opera. In June 2006, a two-act opera Grendel directed by Julie Taymor with original music by Goldenthal premiered at the Los Angeles Opera. It is an adaptation of John Gardner’s novel telling the story of Beowulf from the title monster’s point of view. In 2007, Goldenthal was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in the Music category for his work on Grendel

Music composed for theatrical productions is also an important part of Goldenthal’s output. He has written music for several theatrical productions, including Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass – Julie Taymor’s musical that premiered in 1988. In 1996, after its transfer to Broadway, the musical was nominated five times for Tony Awards, including the Best Musical and the Best Score categories. Goldenthal’s other theatrical credits include musicals The Transposed Heads (1987) and The Green Bird (1999) and plays The King Stag (1984) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013). 

Among Goldenthal’s most recent works there are Grand Gothic Suite (2014), which is based on his own scores for films Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), and Symphony in G# Minor (2014) and Lyric Suite: The Flood of Avon (2015) written for the violin virtuoso Robert McDuffie and his ensemble. At present, Goldenthal is working on a score for Julie Taymor’s film A Midsummer Night’s Dream (its premiere is scheduled for the year 2015). He is also planning to begin work on music for Taymor’s newest theatrical play, the premiere of which is scheduled for April 2015. 

Selected film works: 

2010 – The Tempest 
2009 – Public Enemies 
2002 – Frida 
2001 – Final Fantasy 
1999 – Titus 
1997 – The Butcher Boy 
1997 – Batman & Robin 
1996 – Michael Collins 
1996 – A Time To Kill 
1995 – Batman Forever 
1995 – Heat 
1994 – Interview with the Vampire 
1992 – Alien 3

The Kilar Award

The Kilar Award is granted for the lifetime achievement, to the most unique and original composers.

Artists nominated to the Award are loyal to the traditional art of composition, they create instrumentation independently, write pieces, that can stand on their own, and possess the ability to masterfully and creatively use the language of music, colour, tone and texture. See more