Craig Armstrong at FMF’s Gala
Add date: Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Craig Armstrong – one of the most famous British composers, awarded with a Golden Globe for the appraised musical Moulin Rouge!, the author of music for such film blockbusters as, among others, Love Actually, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps or Ray, which was awarded with two Academy Awards – is the last guest of the Great Gala of Film Music. 10 Composers for RMF Classic’s 10th Anniversary. Thus, the British composer joins the group of outstanding composers who have already confirmed their participation in the concert and will take a seat in the audience along with: Alberto Iglesias, Don Davis, Trevor Morris, Gavin Greeneway, Abel Korzeniowski, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Diego Navarro, James Newton Howard and Michał Lorenc. Krakow audiences will be the first one to hear a live performance of a suit from the composer’s latest film, The Great Gatsby. We would like to remind you: this extraordinary concert will take place at the Tinning Plant of ArcelorMittal Poland on Saturday, the 28th of September at 8 p.m.
Armstrong - a Scotsman, born in 1959, received his education at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied composition, the violin and the piano. He quickly made his name as a versatile composer who blends classical and popular music. In 1994, he entered into cooperation with Bristol group Massive Attack and co-created their memorable, genre-defining album Protection. Soon afterwards, he released his own album The Space Between Us. The LP strengthened his position as a valued producer who likes to mix classical music motifs with contemporary electronics. Such an approach put him in the centre of attention of the greatest singers and bands, such as Madonna, U2, Tina Turner and the Spice Girls. He was also closely connected with theatre: he was selected by Royal Shakespeare Company to create music for two Michael Boyd’s stage adaptations: of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and John Ford’s The Broken Heart.
In 1996, he undertook a venture which was supposed to open the door to the world of film for him and let him develop his interest in genre blends. He wrote a score for Romeo + Juliet, an adaptation of Shakespeare's drama set in modern times, filmed by an unknown Australian, Baz Luhrmann. The composer decided to create a soundtrack of the 21st century which mixed the classical with the contemporary and was full of modern arranges with traces of his former cooperation with Massive Attack. He invited such stars as Radiohead, Garbage and Mundy to participate in the project. Luhrmann’s postmodern picture, which played with the conventions existing in theatre and film, was very well received. So was Armstrong’s album, which received a BAFTA award (a British counterpart of Academy Awards). This style was to become his artistic mark.
Armstrong and Luhrmann’s next joint venture – the musical Moulin Rouge!, featuring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor – turned out to be the most widely discussed production of 2001. It received over 70 awards, including two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, one of which was awarded to Armstrong for his music.
At present, Armstrong regularly cooperates with the film industry. Even before Moulin Rouge! was made, he produced music for Phillip Noyce’s blockbuster thriller The Bone Collector. His tunes also helped build up suspense in Noyce’s The Quiet American, Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth: The Golden Age or Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Taylor Hackford’s Ray (2004), with Oscar winning Jamie Foxx as the male lead, provides an example of a masterful yet subtle soundtrack. The latest film with Armstrong’s music, The Great Gatsby (2013), executed again in cooperation with Luhrmann, draws from their previous joint projects. Armstrong saturated this stylish story dating back to 1920s with modern sounds. He used songs from Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey and Jay-Z and combined them with the styles of Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong and George Gershwin. The result: a film screening resembles a great concert which bewitches your imagination with exceptional sounds.