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The three nominees have been selected: A Swede and two Irishmen. © Zurich Film Festival

These are the finalists of the International Film Music Competition

Zurich, July 13, 2023

The International Film Music Competition takes place for the 11th time during the 19th Zurich Film Festival's "Cinema in Concert" gala event. The prestigious event motivated 153 composers from each of the world's continents to enter an original score, which they created for the short film AU REVOIR JERÔME. Presided over by Oscar-winner Volker Bertelmann, the jury has now selected the three finalists whose compositions will be performed live by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on September 30.

On September 30, 2023, the International Film Music Competition will take place for the 11th time during the 19th Zurich Film Festival's "Cinema in Concert" gala event at the Tonhalle Zurich. It is organised and implemented by the ZFF and the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich AG in collaboration with the Forum Filmmusik. Entrants were asked to create and submit a new and original score for the short film AU REVOIR JÉRÔME.

From the approximately 150 anonymously submitted compositions, three favourites have now been selected, and their composers will be invited to the ZFF. They will rehearse their compositions together with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich before they are world premiered under the musical direction of Frank Strobel in the presence of the jury during the "Cinema in Concert" gala event. “The Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich has established a strong reputation in the field of film symphonies. To look ahead in this genre and provide a stage for young composers is essential for us as an institution,” says Head of Artistic Department of Tonhalle Marc Barwisch.


The Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Frank Strobel and Sandra Studer at last year's International Film Music Competition. © Gaëtan Bally

This year's jury, which is presided over by Oscar-winner Volker Bertelmann, will choose and announce the winning composition on the same evening, before presenting the winner with the Golden Eye for "Best International Film Music 2023", an award endowed with a 10'000 Swiss franc cash prize. "The ZFF is a film festival that is committed to promoting new talent and strives to connect this new talent with established greats from the film industry. This is also underscored by the IFMC, which features an Oscar winner as its jury president for the third year in a row, presenting a huge incentive for the young composers," explains Artistic Director Christian Jungen. "We also want to use the IMFC to demonstrate to a wider audience the tremendous importance of film music, without which a cinematic work would be only half as emotional."

These are the nominees

Carl Falkenau

This is the second time that Carl Falkenau has been nominated for the "Best International Film Music" Golden Eye. The Swedish-German pianist's list of credits includes soundtracks for Scandinavian TV shows and symphonic arrangements for a variety of Swedish artists. He also releases records under his alter ego The Grim, which feature heavily orchestrated cinematic metal. In addition to the work he does in his own recording studio, Carl also teaches piano at the Lund Culture School in Sweden.

Elliot Murphy

Currently living in Berlin, the Irish cellist and composer Elliot Murphy is also a second-time nominee for the "Best International Film Music" Golden Eye. His broad compositional focus ranges from aleatoric music, where some elements of the work are left to chance, to classical folk music. He is also an accomplished cellist across a variety of styles, improvisation being the most dominant. His list of current projects includes improvised cello performances with live-electronics for theatre and the release of his own album.

Cian McCarthy

Born in Ireland, Cian McCarthy currently lives in New York, where he splits his time between orchestrating musical theatre and composing for multimedia. His previous credits include serving as the music director and conductor on such hit Broadway productions as MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL and THE BOOK OF MORMON. He has also worked in recent years as an orchestrator on various projects, including the new musical LEMPICKA, which is due to hit Broadway soon.

Cinema in Concert

The Cinema in Concert with the International Film Music Competition takes place for the eleventh time on September 30, 2023. It is organised by the Zurich Film Festival and the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich AG in collaboration with the Forum Filmmusik and takes place at the Tonhalle Zurich. Further information

Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich AG
is the sponsor of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and organises more than 150 concerts of various kinds each season. In addition to the concerts in Zurich, the orchestra goes on international tours and carries Zurich's reputation as a lively city of music to renowned music centres all over the world. Further information

The Forum Filmmusik supports projects that promote exchange among filmmakers. In addition, the Forum Filmmusik offers insights into current film music creation and sensitises a culturally interested public to the soundtrack. Further information


SoundTrack_Zurich is a two-day film and media specialist event that takes place during the Zurich Film Festival. The conference hosts a series of panels, networking sessions, case studies and workshops that take up current topics concerning today's film and media music scene. SoundTrack_Zurich is organised by SONART (Swiss musicians), curated by Michael Aust (SoundTrack_Cologne) in collaboration with FFM (Forum Filmmusik), ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts) and SoundTrack_Cologne.

Zurich Film Festival

The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) is the second largest festival in the German-speaking world. Over 11 days in autumn, it presents the greatest discoveries and the year’s most anticipated movies. The ZFF promotes exchange between upcoming directors, established filmmakers, the film industry and the general public. Last year's ZFF attracted over 137,000 spectators and thousands of accredited film and media professionals from all over the world.

The 19th edition takes place from September 28 until October 8, 2023

 More information | About ZFF Industry

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