Shigeru Umebayashi


Shigeru Umebayashi was born in Kitakyushu, Japan, on the 19th of February 1951. Shigeru

Umebayashi launched his music career during the Japanese new wave movement in the 80's as the

leader of rock band "EX". When EX disbanded in 1984 he soon started to expand his activities to the

field of film music. His first film music projects transpired when he met the then famous Japanese

actor Yusaku Matsuda. In 1985 the music he composed for "Sorekara" & "Tomoyo Shizukani

Nemure" won several music awards at the "Mainichi Film Contest", "Japan Academic Award"

& "Yokohama Film Festival".

Umebayashi's work was soon recognized internationally, especially in Hong Kong, ever since the

composition of the film music "Yumeji" in 1991 and "The Christ of Nanjing" in 1995. Jis score

for "Yumeji" led to his first collaboration with the Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai in 2000, and

his film "In the Mood for Love", which became one of his most famous international works. In

2001 the title song of "Mid Night Fly" by Jacob Chang won the best original song award at "Golden

Horse Award" in Taiwan. He then continued his work with Zhang Yimou's new film "House of Flying

Daggers" and again Wong Kar-Wai's new film "2046" in 2004. Both films were presented in Cannes

Film Festival 2004. For the movie "House of Flying Daggers" he worked with the world famous

soprano Kathleen Battle. The music of "2046" won the best original score award at "Golden Horse

Award" in Taiwan again and at "Hong Kong International Film Festival" in 2004.

His first European projects occurred soon after that with films such as "Hannibal Rising"

and "Incendiary" from the UK, "The Dark Sea" from Italy, "Tears for Sale" from Serbia

and "Absurdistan" from Germany. In 2009 he composed additional music for Tom Ford's debut

film "A Single Man". In October of the same year his film music was performed live for the first

time in Ghent by the Flanders Philharmonic, conducted by Dirk Brossé, and in May 2010 over 7,000

people heard his melodies when performed by the Sinfonieta Krakowia during the Krakow Film Music

Festival in Poland. His three sold-out concerts in Athens in December 2010, performed by "Oticons

Orchestra & Choir" and conducted again by Dirk Brossé, were unique since they were his first

concerts that were not part of a Festival.

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