Media Releases

U of T alumnus wins Golden Globe award: Composer Mychael Danna wins for Life Of Pi score

January 14, 2013

TORONTO, ON – Com­pos­er and Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to alum­nus Mychael Dan­na picked up a Gold­en Globe award Jan­u­ary 13 for best film score for the movie Life of Pi.

Dan­na earned his Bach­e­lor of Music degree in com­po­si­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to in 1986, where he won the first-ever Glenn Gould Com­po­si­tion Award and was exposed to the ear­ly music and world music tech­niques that would lat­er influ­ence his sound. Work­ing with the­atre groups on cam­pus, Dan­na met and began to work with acclaimed film direc­tor and U of T alum­nus Atom Egoy­an.

“Since con­nect­ing with Mychael at U of T so many years ago, our col­lab­o­ra­tion has been essen­tial to my work,” said Egoy­an. “Mychael is a bril­liant musi­cian and com­pos­er who is able to enhance any project he works on. He ful­ly com­mits him­self to every film, and his bril­liant score for Life of Pi is an expres­sion of every­thing that makes him so unique.”

Dan­na went on to score Egoy­an’s films includ­ing Exot­i­ca, The Sweet Here­after, Ararat and Chloe. He has worked with direc­tors includ­ing Ter­ry Gilliam, Mira Nair and Joel Schu­mach­er; oth­er recent projects include Mon­ey­ball and 500 Days of Sum­mer. Dan­na pre­vi­ous­ly scored for Ang Lee with The Ice Storm in 1997 and Ride with the Dev­il in 1999.

Return­ing to U of T in 2011 as the inau­gur­al Louis Apple­baum Dis­tin­guished Vis­i­tor in Film Com­po­si­tion, Dan­na coached com­po­si­tion stu­dents and gave a pub­lic lec­ture with Egoy­an. Dur­ing that time he was already work­ing on the score for Life of Pi, released in the fall of 2012.

Com­pos­er and U of T pro­fes­sor, Chris­tos Hatzis, worked with Dan­na dur­ing the Apple­baum pro­gram and offered words of con­grat­u­la­tions in a let­ter to the Gold­en Globe win­ner:

“I was glued on my TV set last night and thrilled to hear your name announced as the win­ner of the Gold­en Globe and to see you on stage accept­ing the award,” wrote Hatzis. “Your beau­ti­ful and evoca­tive music turns this mas­ter­ful film into a mag­i­cal expe­ri­ence. I feel very for­tu­nate to have host­ed you dur­ing your Louis Apple­baum vis­it at U of T and will be keep­ing my fin­gers crossed for the Oscars. We are all very proud of you here at your Alma Mater.”

Dan­na is also nom­i­nat­ed for two Acad­e­my Awards for his work on Life of Pi. He is up for best score and best orig­i­nal song (music) for Pi’s Lul­la­by. Acad­e­my Awards win­ners will be announced Feb. 24, 2012.


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