Festival International du Film d'Aubagne - March 18th to 23th 2019

Jean-Michel Bernard

Jean-Michel Bernard

Workshop of Music composition for image 2014

Jean-Michel Bernard began playing the piano at the age of two. When he was 14, he was awarded first place at the Bordeaux Conservatory and later graduated from the Paris ‘Ecole Normale de Musique’. At 19, he recorded with the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  whilst pursuing a career as a jazz musician and performing with prominent jazz artists including Wild Bill Davis, Jimmy Woode (Duke Ellington’s bassist) and Eddie Davis.
From 1987 to 1991 he worked as musical director and  conductor of the successful radio show « L’Oreille en Coin » on National Pubic Radio France Inter.  Between 2000 and 2003, he performed with the Ray Charles Quartet on the European and Australian tours as organist and conductor, “this guy is a genius” Ray used to say concerning Jean-Mi-chel Bernard. He also scored many documentaries and commercials during the 90’s.

His career as a composer began with animated films, followed by collaborations with masters such as Lalo Schifrin and Ennio Morricone.
He frequently works with director Michel Gondry and has composed songs for films including « Human Nature » and « the Science of Sleep, » which screened at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. He was nominated for the World Soundtrack Awards in 2007 as Discovery of the Year and won the France Musique/UCMF award at the Cannes Film Festival the same year.
In 2008 he scored the music for Michel Gondry’s  « Be Kind Rewind, » «Cash » by Eric Besnard, and « A Pain in the Ass » by Francis Veber. The same day « Be Kind Rewind » was shown at the Sundance Festival, Jean-Michel Bernard performed alongside rapper/singer Mos Def and Gondry, an avid drummer.
The following year, the Cannes Film Festival invited him to represent France in the film music concert program. He also received an award for his achievement outside of his native country from the European Union of Film Music Composers (UCMF) and was appointed as sound designer for both HBO’s channel and website.
He has collaborated with French actress and director Fanny Ardant on two of her films« Chimères Absentes » and  « Cadences Obstinées »  starring Gerard Depardieu and worked on Academy Award winning « Hugo »  by Martin Scorsese.  He scored the music of « Love Punch » by Joel Hopkins starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson,  « Love at First Child » by Anne Giafferi and « Money »  by Georgian director Gela Babluani.  Bernard has conduc-ted master classes at the Cannes Film Festival as well as in Montreal, Angers, La Rochelle, Krakow, Cologne and  in Aubagne, where he performed a live version of « Jazz For Dogs, » an album co-created with Kimiko Ono and featuring a number of prestigious guests including Fanny Ardant, Francis Lai and Laurent Korcia.
In 2014, Jean-Michel Bernard began teaching film music classes at the Paris Conservatory and was guest of honor with Michael Giacchino at the Audi Talent Awards in Paris with the Paris Symphonic Orchestra, at Braunschweig Festival and at Soundtrack Cologne Festival.
He  scored  “Terra”,  a  contemporary  dance  project  which  premiered  at  the  Coronet  in  London  in  March  2016  and    participated as composer, arranger and performer on The Avalanches long-awaited second album « Wildflower . »
His most recent project is an album celebrating the legendary Lalo Schifrin entitled « Jean-Michel Bernard plays Lalo Schifrin » which includes 3 piano duets with the master himself. The album will be released in 2017 with concerts in Los Angeles, Paris, and Japan, at the Tokyo Blue Note Jazz Festival.

«To me it is amazing that I found a real ‘soul brother’ in the sum of his expressions (composing, conducting, performing, etc.). I cannot find words to reflect my admiration for his genius, a real miracle because he is my double» (Lalo Schifrin).


22 March 2019 00h00