In search of the best soundtracks

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Jul 8, 2019

Over 300 composers from 46 countries entered the 8th International Film Music Competition. Headed by the US American composer Don Davis, the Jury has now selected five compositions to take part in the final. The compositions will be world premiered by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and followed immediately by the Award Ceremony and the Film Music Concert entitled BEYOND THE MATRIX.
What would be a movie without the perfect soundtrack? The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (TOZ) have joined forces with the Forum Filmmusik once again this year to organise the 8th International Film Music Competition, which according to ZFF Co-Directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri “has become an established, highly successful part of the ZFF program and enjoys increasing international appeal, not least thanks to the growing number of entries from abroad.”

321 composers from 46 countries took part in the competition to score Robert Rugan’s short film DANNY AND THE WILD BUNCH – that’s more participants than ever before. Pierre Funck, the President of Forum Filmmusik, is delighted: “The increase in participant numbers is a further indication that the competition has become established one of the most important platforms for the film music industry.” Five of these participants have now made it to the final round, and their compositions will be premiered during the Zurich Film Festival on September 28, 2019, at the Tonhalle Maag by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under the musical direction of Frank Strobel. The Jury will announce the winning composition on the same evening and present the Golden Eye award for “Best International Film Music” endowed with a 10’000 Swiss franc cash prize.

The five 2019 finalists are:
  • Ching-Shan Chang (USA)
  • Olivier Depierre (Switzerland)
  • Carl Falkenau (Sweden)
  • Andrey Mordovsky (Russia)
  • Gus Nicholson (Great Britain)
This year’s Jury is presided over by the US American, two-time Emmy Award-winning film composer Don Davis, whose credits include the scores for the MATRIX trilogy and JURASSIC PARK 3. He is joined by the German conductor Frank Strobel, who returns once again this year to conduct the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich during the gala event on September 28, 2019. The Jury further comprises the Swiss film music composer Adrian Frutiger, the US American director Robert Rugan and the Swiss film director Andrea Štaka.

A further musical highlight of the evening comes in the form of the Grand Film Music Concert, which takes place after the performance of the winning compositions. Guests can look forward to a number of exciting clips and stills from the most famous science fiction movies interpreted live by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. “The International Film Music Competition promotes young film composers and appeals to a different public when compared to our other concerts”, said Ilona Schmiel, Artistic Director of the Tonhalle Society Zurich.

The 8th International Film Music competition takes place during the 15th Zurich Film Festival on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at the Tonhalle Maag in Zurich. Further information can be found at

Articles authored by Martin Signer

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