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The Academy Steps Behind the Score with Composers Gustavo Dudamel, Gustavo Santaolalla and John Williams

Behind the Score
Composers Gustavo Dudamel, Gustavo Santaolalla and John Williams will gather at the Academy for “Behind the Score: The Art of the Film Composer,” on Monday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles.  In a conversation hosted by Tavis Smiley, the illustrious trio will discuss significant musical moments in film that have inspired their work as they examine the art and process of creating a film score as well as the director-composer collaboration.

Dudamel, now entering his sixth season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, made his first foray into composing for motion pictures with “THE LIBERATOR (Libertador),” a biopic about Simón Bolívar that screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this month.  The score for this film, as well as a CD on Deutsche Grammophon, was recorded with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, of which Dudamel is music director.  Dudamel also appears as a guest conductor with many of the world’s greatest musical institutions.

A renowned singer, guitarist, music producer and composer, Santaolalla earned consecutive Oscars® for Original Score for “Brokeback Mountain” and “Babel.”  His other feature credits include “Amores Perros,” “21 Grams,” “The Motorcycle Diaries,” “North Country,” “Biutiful” and “On the Road.”  Long before he won the first of his 16 Grammy® Awards, Santaolalla was a creative force in the Argentine rock nacional movement in the early 1970s.

Williams, whose career spans six decades, has written scores for more than 100 films, including “Lincoln,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” the first three “Harry Potter” films,  the “Indiana Jones” films, and “The Book Thief,” and has won Academy Awards® for five films: “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Schindler’s List.”  With 49 Oscar® nominations, he holds the nominations record for any living person.

Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS and the weekly radio broadcast “The Tavis Smiley Show” from Public Radio International.  He also has authored or co-authored 16 books, including his forthcoming Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year to be published this September.

Behind the Score: The Art of the Film Composer is supported by The New York Times, a founding supporter of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, scheduled to open in Los Angeles in 2017.

Tickets for Behind the Score are $5 for general admission and $3 for Academy members, LACMA Film Club members and students with a valid ID.  Tickets may be purchased online at  The Bing Theater is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.  For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit


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Natalie Kojen