Maurice Jarre Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (6)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 13 September 1924Lyon, Rhône, France
Date of Death 29 March 2009Malibu, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameMaurice-Alexis Jarre

Mini Bio (1)

Unlike many musicians who started to learn music while still in their childhood, Maurice Jarre was already late in his teens when he discovered music and decided to make a career in that field. Against his father's will, he enrolled at Conservatoire de Paris where he studied percussions, composition and harmonies. He also met and studied under Joseph Martenot, inventor of the Martenot Waves, an electronic keyboard that prefigured the modern synthesizer.

After leaving the Conservatoire, Jarre played percussion and Martenot Waves for a while at Jean-Louis Barrault's theater. In 1950, another actor-director, Jean Vilar, asked Jarre to score his production of Kleist's 'The Princess of Homburg', the first score Jarre wrote. Shortly after, Vilar created the 'Théâtre National Populaire' and hired Jarre as permanent composer, an association that lasted 12 years.

In 1951, filmmaker Georges Franju asked him to write the music of his 23 minutes documentary Hôtel des Invalides (1952), Jarre's first composition for the movie screen. His first full-length feature, again directed by Georges Franju, was Head Against the Wall (1959) followed by Franju's best known film, Les yeux sans visage (1960).

Jarre's career took a spectacular turn in 1961 when producer Sam Spiegel asked him to work on David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Initially, three composers were supposed to write the score, but for various reasons, Jarre ended up writing all the music himself and won his first Oscar. His second collaboration with David Lean on Doctor Zhivago (1965) earned him another Oscar and obtained a level of success rarely achieved by a film score. He collaborated with Lean again on Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984) for which he received a third Academy Award. He was set to score Lean's next movie, 'Nostromo', but the director became ill and died before the film could ever get made.

He also worked for directors as diverse as William Wyler (The Collector (1965)); John Huston (three films); Franco Zeffirelli (Jesus of Nazareth (1977)); Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum (1979) [The Tin Drum] and Circle of Deceit (1981) [Circle of Deceit]); Peter Weir (four films); Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist (1988)) and Alfonso Arau (A Walk in the Clouds (1995)).

Mainly perceived as a symphonist and known for his prominent use of percussions, Jarre often integrated ethnic instruments in his orchestrations like cithara on 'Lawrence of Arabia' or fujara (an old Slovak flute) on 'The Tin Drum'. During the eighties, he incorporated synthetic sounds in his music, writing his first entirely electronic score for The Year of Living Dangerously (1982). His son Jean-Michel Jarre is a well-known popular musician.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: François Leclair

Spouse (4)

Fong Fui Khong (6 December 1984 - 29 March 2009) (his death)
Laura Devon (30 December 1967 - 14 March 1984) (divorced) (1 child)
Dany Saval (30 January 1965 - 1967) (divorced) (1 child)
Francette Pejot (April 1946 - 1953) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Composer of many 'David Lean', Adrian Lyne, 'Peter Weir' films.

Trivia (6)

Father, with Francette Pejot, of Jean-Michel Jarre and with Dany Saval, of Stéfanie Jarre. He also adopted a son, Kevin Jarre with Laura Devon.
Known for his prominent use of percussion.
His first wife France Pejot was a Resistance heroine. She was born in Lyon on October 17, 1914 and died on April 23 2010. She married Maurice Jarre in April 1946 and they were divorced in 1951.
According to his friend David Lean, Jarre settled the matter of his divorce from Dany Saval very simply by making over to her all future royalties from his score for "Dr. Zhivago" - which probably made her millions.
He was cremated at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. His ashes were given to his son, Kevin.
He has contributed with the soundtrack of eight films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Longest Day (1962),Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), A Passage to India (1984), Witness (1985), Fatal Attraction (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Ghost (1990). Of those, only Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is a winner in the category and Jarre won Oscars for Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and A Passage to India (1984).

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