Fans of Maurice Jarre, who composed the soundtrack for Doctor Zhivago (1965), must have greeted the 2003 TV remake of the popular film with skepticism. How could anyone, regardless of the new version's quality, match Jarre's haunting score, particularly "Lara's Theme," an unforgettable musical creation? The artist who rose to the challenge is Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi, whose works include chamber and orchestral compositions, music for the stage, film soundtracks, as well as a variety of multimedia works. While Einaudi's music is difficult to describe, owing to the composer's ability to create a sonic world that defies categorization, commentators have praised the engaging, atmospheric quality of his music, a quality particularly evident in compositions that capture evanescent modds and fugitive experiences. Born in Turin, Italy, Einaudi received a degree in composition from Conservatotio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, and subsequently studied with Luciano Berio. Immediately attracting international attention, Einaudi's music was performed at many distinguished venues, including the Teatro alla Scala, the Tanglewood Festival, Lincoln Center, and the UCLA Center for Performing Arts. During the 1980s, Einaudi expanded his compositional idiom, incorporating elements of popular music and art. In 1988, working with Andrea de Carlo, a well-known Italian writer, Einaudi created Time Out, a multimedia work that the ISO Dance Theatre performed in Europe, the United States, and Japan. Among Einaudi's subsequent multimedia works is the critically acclaimed Salgari, a collaborative project that included de Carlo, choreographer Daniel Ezralow, and artist Jerome Sirlin. Despite his success as a multimedia artist, Einaudi has continued cultivating more intimate forms, as exemplified by Le Onde (The Waves) (1996), a cycle of meditations for piano on life and the universe that was inspired by various literary texts, including Virginia Woolf's novel The Waves. While seemingly at the top of the composition world, Einaudi ventured into the world of film composition, a journey punctuated by his Best Film Score award in 2002 for his work on Luce Die Miei Occhi. Einaudi noted interviews during that period that he missed concretizing, and began performing again regularly. New works blossomed from this effort, including 2004's Una Mattina and 2006's Diario Mali. 2007 welcomed Einaudi's seventh studio album, titled Divenire, where he is accompanied by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. The follow-up, 2009's Nightbook, was much more self-consciously reductionist, featuring solo piano minimally adorned with electronics, and saw Einaudi begin to be appreciated by fans of the "post-classical" school that he had arguably, at least in part, inspired. A double-disc best-of, Islands, was released in 2011, and at the beginning of 2013 he signed a new deal with Decca and unveiled the long-gestating In a Time Lapse, which had been recorded in a remote monastery near Verona and saw a return to a more "classical", chamber music sound.
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