Gabriel Yared (born 7 October 1949) is a Lebanese composer, best known for his work in French and American cinema.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, his work in France included the scores for Betty Blue and Camille Claudel. He later began working on English language films, particularly those directed by Anthony Minghella. He won an Oscar and a Grammy Award for his work on The English Patient (1996) and was also nominated for The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and Cold Mountain (2003).
At the age of 7, his father sent Yared to an accordion teacher. Two years later he stopped his accordion lessons and started music theory and piano lessons. His piano teacher thought that he had no future in music.
Although he was not a natural pianist, he was interested in reading music.
At the age of 14, his piano teacher died, so he was to replace him as the organist of Université Saint-Joseph. He used the university's library to read all the work of Bach, Schumann, and many others. This extensive reading inspired his first original composition, a piano waltz.
Yared gained a degree in Law. His formal musical education only began when he travelled to France in 1969, and attended the École Normale de Musique de Paris as a non-registered student. There he learned the rules of music composition from Henri Dutilleux.
At the end of 1971, he went to Brazil to visit his uncle. There, the president of the World Federation of light music festivals asked him to write a song to represent the Lebanese in the Rio de Janeiro Song Festival. His song won the first prize.
In Brazil, he kept on performing with his small orchestra. Yared maintains that to this day Brazil has greatly influenced his work.
In 1975, he arranged the album Minacantalucio for the popular Italian singer Mina.
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