These are the Finalists of the 9th International Film Music Competition

15. July 2021

More than 180 composers from 37 countries entered the 9th International Film Music Competition. The jury, presided over by the Canadian Academy Award-winning film composer Mychael Danna, chose three compositions to enter the final. These compositions will be world premiered by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on September 30 prior to the winner being announced on the same evening during an award ceremony. A Film Music Concert and special guest appearance by the Swiss-Australian composer trio Baldenweg are set to round the evening off.

John Heins, Andrey Mordovsky, Julien Bellanger

From left to right: John Heins, Andrey Mordovsky, Julien Bellanger

This is now the ninth year that the Zurich Film Festival has joined forces with the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich AG and the Forum Filmmusik to organise and implement the International Film Music Competition. “This event is one of the highlights of the ZFF in terms of experience and audience satisfaction," explains Christian Jungen, ZFF Artistic Director, "and it underlines that film music is an important focus at the festival.”

182 composers from 37 countries entered the competition with their own score for the given short film ETIQUETA NEGRA (BLACK LABEL) by David Vergés. Three of these entrants have now made it to the final, and their compositions will be world premiered during the Zurich Film Festival by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in the Tonhalle Zurich on September 30, 2021. The jury will announce the winning composition on the same evening and present the Golden Eye for “Best International Film Music” endowed with a CHF 10’000 cash prize.

And the three finalists of 2021 are:

  • Julien Bellanger (France)
  • John Heins (USA)
  • Andrey Mordovsky (Russia)
Mychael Danna

The Academy Award-winning film composer Mychael Danna precides over the jury at this year's International Film Music Competition.

This year’s jury is presided over by the Canadian film composer Mychael Danna. His body of work includes the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning soundtrack to Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. His list of credits in the field of composing also includes an Emmy, a World Soundtrack Award and a Hollywood Film Award. Further members of the jury are Swiss-Australian film composer Diego Baldenweg and the Swiss-born, U.S.-based music supervisor Pirmin Marti.

The German conductor Frank Strobel, under whose baton the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich will once again perform during the celebratory gala evening on September 30, 2021, is also among the jury members. “Music significantly expands our awareness of film,” explained Strobel, “because it directs our gaze towards film and within it. I’m looking forward to using the submitted compositions to present a music that illustrates the film, augments its narrative and enables it to be experienced, because music has the power to narrate films in its own unique language.”

A further musical highlight of the evening comes in the form of a Film Music Concert with excerpts from the soundtracks to HENRY V., THE KING’S SPEECH, CARLITO’S WAY and a work by the Jury President. In addition, the international award-winning sibling trio Diego Baldenweg with Nora Baldenweg and Lionel Baldenweg will make a special guest appearance, and a medley of their most popular works will be performed in their honour. 

Tickets for the Gala Evening on September 30 are available from 11 am on Monday, August 23 at tonhalle-orchester.ch/ifmw.

Further information about the International Film Music Competition is available now at filmmusiccompetition.ch.


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