French composer and conductor Maurice Jarre was born in Lyon on 13 September 1924. Initially he began to study engineering in Paris, but changed direction and enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire to learn composition, harmony and percussion. He became director of the Théâtre National Populaire and recorded his first film score in 1951.
Along with Gerard Schurmann, he was engaged by film producer Sam Spiegel to write the score for Lawrence of Arabia in 1961, and won an Academy Award. This was soon followed by music for Dr Zhivago, which earned a second Oscar. He continued to write music for the cinema ... including The Dammed (1969), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Jacob's Ladder (1990).
Jarre's final score was for the TV film Uprising, about the holocaust. His son Jean Michel Jarre is also a composer and an electronic music pioneer.
Maurice Jarre died on 29 March 2009 in Los Angeles, aged eighty-four.