Lalo Schifrin


Living music legend Boris Claudio “Lalo” Schifrin was presented with the SCL Lifetime Achievement Award at his 85th Birthday Concert on October 7, 2017, by SCL President Ashley Irwin. Sponsored by several music organizations including the SCL, this special event was produced and hosted by longtime film music supporter, Robert Townson.

An SCL Advisory Board member since inception, Lalo is the quintessential renaissance man – pianist, composer and conductor, equally at home conducting a symphony orchestra, performing at a jazz festival, scoring a film or television show, or creating works for the LA Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic or…the Sultan of Oman.

He has written more than 100 scores for films and television. Notable among the many classics are Mission: Impossible, Mannix, The Fox, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, Dirty Harry, The Cincinnati Kid and The Amityville Horror. More recent film scores include Tango, all three Rush Hour films, Bringing Down The House, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, After the Sunset, and Abominable.

His extensive body of concert works include “Salute to the Statue of Liberty”, “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra”, “Dances Concertantes”, “Piano Concerto No. 2”, “Latin Jazz Suite”, and “Pampas”.

To date, Schifrin has won 5 Grammys with 22 nominations, received six Academy Award nominations, and four Primetime Emmy nominations.

In 2012, Lalo received both the Grand Lyon Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and the Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award. In 2016, he was honored as Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Commander of Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Ministry of Culture, for contribution to the enrichment of cultural inheritance. That same year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and his theme for Mission: Impossible was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“Lalo’s music has always been an inspiration to me in terms of its originality, stylistic scope and skillfulness. He’s the real deal.”former SCL President Bruce Broughton.

– Biographical notes kindly provided by Robert Townson

On June 17, 2020, Schifrin was awarded the Prix Hommage from the l’Union des Compositeurs de Musiques de Films (UCMF). You can view his acceptance speech below, preceded by congratulatory messages that include current SCL Ambassadors and Members. Lalo’s speech is in French – his key points translate as:

“It’s so touching to receive this award, and be in touch with film composer colleagues from the other side of the world. I hope we will all continue on with our art. Long live film music!”

And the career montage below includes excerpts from the 2018 John Newcombe documentary on Lalo Schifrin and Lalo Schifrin with the Marseille Philharmonic. SCL President Ashley Irwin, Lalo Schifrin and his SCL Lifetime Achievement Award are featured at the end. Enjoy!