Lalo Schifrin


Lalo Schifrin is a true Renaissance man. As a pianist, composer and conductor, he is equally at home conducting a symphony orchestra, performing at an international jazz festival, scoring a film or television show, or creating works for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and even The Sultan of Oman. As a young man in his native Argentina, Lalo Schifrin received classical training in music, and also studied law. He came from a musical family, and his father, Luis Schifrin, was the concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon. Lalo Schifrin continued his formal music education at the Paris Conservatory during the early 1950?s. Simultaneously, he became a professional jazz pianist, composer and arranger, playing and recording in Europe. When Schifrin returned to Buenos Aires in the mid 1950?s, he formed his own big concert band. It was during a performance of this band that Dizzy Gillespie heard Schifrin play and asked him to become his pianist and arranger. In 1958, Schifrin moved to the United States and thus began a remarkable career. His music is a synthesis of traditional and twentieth-century techniques, and his early love for jazz and rhythm are strong attributes of his style. ?Invocations,? ?Concerto for Double Bass,? ?Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 2,? ?Pulsations,? ?Tropicos,? ?La Nouvelle Orleans,? and ?Resonances? are examples of this tendency to juxtapose universal thoughts with a kind of elaborated primitivism. In the classical composition field, Schifrin has more than 60 works. He has written more than 100 scores for films and television. Among the classic scores are ?Mission Impossible,? ?Mannix,? ?The Fox,? ?Cool Hand Luke,? ?Bullitt,? ?Dirty Harry,? ?The Cincinnati Kid? and ?Amityville Horror.? Recent film scores include ?Tango,? ?Rush Hour,? ?Rush Hour 2,? ?Rush Hour 3,? ?Bringing Down The House,? ?The Bridge of San Luis Rey,? ?After the Sunset,? and ?Abominable.? Among Schifrin?s other conducting credits are the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Mexico Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Saint Luke (New York City), the National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra. It is Schifrin?s ability to switch musical gears which makes him so unique in the music world. As a jazz musician he has performed and recorded with great personalities such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Count Basie, Jon Faddis, James Moody, Louie Bellson, and Kenny Burrell. Schifrin has been married to his wife, Donna, for more than 30 years. His three children include William, who is a writer for films and television; Frances, who is an art director/designer; and Ryan, who is a film writer/director. For more information on Lalo Schifrin, please visit


Scroll to Top