Lalo Schifrin Is A Renaissance Man

GRAMMY-winning composer discusses NASA's use of the theme from "Mission: Impossible," biggest career moments and upcoming projects
  • Photo: Frederic Reglain/Getty Images
    Lalo Schifrin
  • Photo: Joel Saget/Getty Images
    Lalo Schifrin
January 15, 2013 -- 4:20 pm PST

GRAMMY-winning composer Lalo Schifrin recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive interview. Schifrin discussed his inspiration, NASA's recent use of his GRAMMY-winning theme "Mission: Impossible," and upcoming projects, among other topics.

"When I have something to say I say it in music," said Schifrin. "I'm not a writer of words. I don't write novels, I don't write poems, I don't write short stories. I write music."

Argentine pianist, conductor and composer Schifrin has written more than 100 themes and scores for film and television, including The Cincinnati Kid, Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, Rush Hour, "Planet Of The Apes," and "Mission: Impossible." Schifrin has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed and recorded with jazz artists such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan.

Schifrin received his first two GRAMMY awards in 1964 and 1965 for Best Original Jazz Composition for The Cat and Jazz Suite On The Mass Texts, respectively. Schifrin's theme for "Mission: Impossible" garnered two GRAMMYs in 1967 for Best Instrumental Theme and Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Show. In 2012 the theme was used by NASA to wake up the Mars Curiosity robot. Schifrin's most recent release, 2012's My Life In Music, is a four-disc box set spanning his career in film, jazz and classical music.

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