Rachel Portman honoured with Career Achievement Award

29. September 2022

The Zurich Film Festival honoured the English composer Rachel Portman with the Career Achievement Award this evening at the Tonhalle Zurich. Afterwards, the winner of the 10th International Film Music Competition Robert IJserinkhuijsen was awarded a Golden Eye for "Best International Film Music". The award was presented to him by Portman, this year's jury president.

Rachel Portman was honoured with the Career Achievement Award. © Thomas Niedermüller / Getty for ZFF

This evening, composer and Oscar winner Rachel Portman was presented with the Career Achievement Award at the Tonhalle Zurich. The British composer accepted the honour at the 10th International Film Music Competition and was very touched by the award: "I am really honored to receive this important award. I feel very humbled, to be receiving it", said Portman. "My primary concern is to write music that really fits the film and serves the film. I always wish to also keep in mind to write music that has integrity and I will endeavor, having been honored with this award, to continue to do that in my music effort", she stated in her speech.

With the Career Achievement Award, the Zurich Film Festival honours important filmmakers whose works have shaped and enriched the film landscape. Rachel Portman is the first female composer to win an Academy Award in the category "Best Original Score" - for EMMA by Douglas McGrath starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor.

"She is an exceptional composer, a fine storyteller. She paints feelings with sound. With her, longing can sound mysterious. And sadness can sound like hope," says Artistic Director Christian Jungen. "At the Zurich Film Festival we put a lot of focus on the soundtrack of the film. And I therefore feel it is a great honour to be able to welcome her with us," said Jungen.

Robert IJserinkhuijsen won the Golden Eye for Best International Film Score. © Thomas Niedermüller / Getty for ZFF

As jury president of the 10th International Film Music Competition, Portman in turn presented Dutchman Robert IJserinkhuijsen with the CHF 10,000 Golden Eye for the best international film music. The 5-member jury consisting of film director Pernille Fischer Christensen, the conductor of the award winner Frank Strobel, film composer Marcel Vaid and director Barney Cokeliss, explained their decision: "Robert IJserinkhuijsen knows how to tell emotional stories with a very high standard. His ideas are original, he knows how to realise them perfectly and cut them beautifully."

Robert IJserinkhuijsen, the winner of the 10th International Film Music Competition, emphasised in his speech: "It is an incredible moment, this whole experience has been very overwhelming."

For the 10th International Music Film Competition, emerging composers have written soundtracks to the award-winning short film THE FOUNDLING by Barney Cokeliss. The jury, led by Rachel Portman, selected three from the 218 submissions from 42 countries. These were premiered by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, conducted by Frank Strobel, at the Tonhalle.

The evening was rounded off with excerpts from the films CHOCOLAT, EMMA, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, NEVER LET ME GO and THE DUCHESS, among others.

We would like to thank the Else v. Sick Foundation, the Friends of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich as well as the Fondation SUISA, Isaac Dreyfus-Bernheim Foundation, Swiss Cultural Foundation for Audiovision and the Phonoproduzierende Foundation for their support.

Cinema in Concert

Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich AG is the sponsor of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and organises more than 150 concerts of various kinds each season. In addition to the concerts in Zurich, the orchestra goes on international tours and carries Zurich's reputation as a lively city of music to renowned music centres all over the world. Further information

The Forum Filmmusik supports projects that promote exchange among filmmakers. In addition, the Forum Filmmusik offers insights into current film music creation and sensitises a culturally interested public to the soundtrack. Further information