Alexandre Desplat

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About Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat excels at capturing the unique emotional contours of the movies he’s scoring. With a love of orchestration and a background in Brazilian and African music, the Oscar-winning Paris native has captured the moody melodrama of 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2 (“Lily’s Theme”), the whimsical sci-fi vibe of 2017’s The Shape of Water, and the plucky-but-determined bent of 2019’s Little Women. Born in 1961, Desplat grew up playing piano, flute, and trumpet and was inspired by both jazz and the work of classical composers such as Ravel and Debussy, before deciding composition was for him upon hearing John Williams’ Star Wars score. After graduating from conservatory, he focused on scoring French movies, TV shows, and commercials, breaking through in Hollywood and reaching international audiences in 2003 with the richly orchestrated Girl with a Pearl Earring, a modern-leaning score with majestic strings, cascading piano, velvety woodwinds, and the occasional brass burst. Since then, Desplat has continued to work steadily, racking up accolades for his ongoing collaborative work with directors such as Stephen Frears (2013’s Philomena) and Wes Anderson (2014’s Oscar-winning score for The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Paris, France
August 23, 1961
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