The pianist and composer Luis Bacalov was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where at the age of five he began his music education with Enrique Barenboim. He continued his studies with Berta Sujovolsky (Artur Schnabel's pupil). He began his music performances in Argentina when he was very young. He played as a soloist, in duo with the violinist Alberto Lisy and in several chamber music ensembles. He performed research on popular music in the Latin American countries, working in this field for the Colombia Radio and Television, for which he also played 19th and 20th century piano compositions from the US and Latin America.
From the 1960s onward, Mr. Bacalov has been an active composer for cinema in Italy and France. He has worked with directors such as Lattuada, Damiani, Scola, Petri, Faccini, Girladi, Wertmüller, Kurys, Stora, Lefebvre, Borowczyk, Greco, the Frazzi brothers, Pasolini, Fellini, Radford and Rosi. He has recently composed the sound track for "Il cielo cade", directed by the Frazzi brothers, with whom he will collaborate again for the movie "Almost American".
He has been awarded many prizes and has had several nominations for the movie sound track of "Il Postino", directed by Michael Radford: the Davide di Donatello, the Globo d'Oro of the Foreign Press in Italy, the Nastro d'Argento of the Association of the Film Critics, the Oscar Prize of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, the Bafta Prize (British Academy for Film and Television Arts) and the Prize Nino Rota. In addition, he has obtained a nomination to the Davide di Donatello for the movie "La Tregua", directed by Francesco Rosi, and another one by the A.M.P.A. for the "Vangelo secondo Matteo", directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. He won his Academy Award for the score in 1995.
Mr. Bacalov is also an active conductor and pianist for radio and television broadcasting companies, as well as for concert associations in Europe, the US and Latin America. Along with the traditional and contemporary repertoire, he performs music by Latin American composers, including his own works.
In addition, he has composed works for the guitar and the violin, for both instrumental ensembles and for piano and orchestra. He recently composed Misa Tango (Tango Mass) for soloists, chorus and orchestra -- the work being performed by the Cambridge Community Chorus on May 19, 2002. It was recorded by the D.G.G. with soloists Plácido Domingo, Ana Maria Martínez and Hector Ulises Passarella, under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung. The composition has been performed in Rome with the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia during the 1999 Easter Festival. For the D.G.G., Luis Bacalov has recorded his transcription for piano and orchestra of Piazzolla's tangos as well as his own Tangosain. The D.G.G./Universal album received a nomination to the Latin American Grammy Awards for 2001.
Future engagements include the composition of an "operatango" based on his short story "Gardel y el compadrito", which has been transformed into a dramatic libretto by Enrique E. Buenaventura, C. Sessano and J.L. Goyena. Mr. Bacalov has formed a quartet with bandoneón, double bass, percussions and piano, with which he plays compositions that aim to establish links among several different musical cultures, thus achieving a strongly syncretic combination among elements of ethnic, urban and contemporary music.
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