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:: Spotlight :: Spotlight on film composer Michael Errington

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

At the recent 69th Festival de Cannes I was fortunate to meet renowned musician and film composer Michael Errington. Michael is an Anglo-French composer who has worked on a variety of film and television projects. He has given concert performances all around the world, including solo recitals in Los Angeles, Cannes, Munich, and Berlin. His soundtrack for the highly acclaimed indie film, “The Art Of Passion”, won the Golden Starfish Award at Steven Spielberg’s Hampton’s Film Festival, where he and the film's director Arthur Egeli were presented with the trophy by Grammy Award-winning Producer Quincy Jones. At the recent Cannes film festival Michael gave a lovely piano performance as part of the Cannes Fashion Week celebrations at the Intercontinental Carlton Hotel.

What is of most interest is his link to Australian and New Zealand musicians. Michael told me that he owes much credit to people like Alan Mansfield, Bob Kretschmer, Sharon O'Neill and Iva Davies for helping to provide the confidence to succeed in film score composing. Iva and Bob were integral forces in the 1980s band Icehouse, which enjoyed great success, while Sharon O'Neill was one of New Zealand's best music acts of the 1980s. Alan Mansfield was originally from New Jersey but made his name in Australasia as a guitarist and keyboardist with the band Dragon and also played with the late Robert Palmer. Michael credits Alan as probably his greatest supporter. From there, Michael went on to work alongside Kate Bush, Toto, and Barclay James Harvest.

Other notable highlights of Michael Errignton's career:

- enjoying a large following in Germany following impressive performances at the Munich Film Festival where he gave a solo piano recital of his music at the Gasteig Concert Hall in honour of actress Jacqueline Bisset

- at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) he gave a solo concert in honour of American movie stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for their party at the Cinema for Peace fundraising event

- in 2015 Michael performed a live piano concert at the Cannes Film Festival where he played several unreleased piano compositions for his album All Is Forgiven on behalf of The Heart Fund & Generous People charity ball organised by French heart surgeon Dr. David Luu. The event was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Carlton Hotel and saw Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton in attendance.

Just recently, at the annual Cannes International Film Festival, Michael was given a huge honour. Jean-Michel Cousteau, the French oceanographic explorer and environmentalist, and son of the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, was given “The Letter Honour”, the highest civilian honour by the French President Francois Hollande. A few days earlier, Michael Errington performed in Cousteau's honour, a great accolade.

Michael Errington is a Member of BAFTA LA (The British Academy Of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles) and divides his time between homes in Cannes, France and Berlin, Germany.

Michael Errington with Quentin Tarantino
Michael Errington with Brad Pitt
Michael Errington with the great Ennio Morricone