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One of the most versatile and talented French film composers, with over 200 scores on his resumé, Philippe Sarde is unfortunately little known outside of his home country. Encouraged by his mother, an opera singer, he became interested in music from the early age of three. He conducted a brief section of Carmen at the Paris Opera when he was four. At the age of five he began experimenting with sound recording and made his first short films during his adolescence. A passionate cinephile, Sarde could not decide between being a filmmaker or a musician until he showed one of his short films to his friends and received compliments mostly about his music. He entered the Paris Conservatory, where he studied under Noël Gallon. After writing songs for Régine, Sarde was offered to score Claude Sautet's 1969 film Les Choses de la Vie. There began a partnership that spanned 25 years and 11 films. Sarde also established a close association with directors Bertrand Tavernier, Pierre Granier-Deferre, Georges Lautner, André Téchiné, and Jacques Doillon. The composer's other important collaborations included The Tenant and the Oscar-nominated score for Tess (both for director Roman Polanski), Bertrand Blier's Beau-Père, Alain Corneau's Fort Saganne, and Marshall Brickman's Lovesick, The Manhattan Project, and Sister Mary Explains It All. Director Georges Lautner said that he was constantly amazed by the composer's ability to find a unique approach to each film that he scored. Masterfully and unconventionally arranged, Sarde's soundtracks were often graced by the presence of such world-class musicians as Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Stéphane Grappelli, and Maurice Vander.