University of Redlands

University of Redlands honors famed composer Boris Claudio ‘Lalo’ Schifrin

Boris Claudio ‘Lalo’ Schifrin, a composer known for such scores as Mission Impossible and Dirty Harry, was honored during a Redlands Symphony Orchestra concert showcasing his work on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Celebrating his more than 60-year career and extensive, award-winning body of work, a proclamation from the University of Redlands School of Music and the Office of the President was presented to Schifrin by U of R President Dr. Ralph W. Kuncl. 

University of Redlands President Dr. Ralph W. Kuncl reads proclamation to acclaimed Composer Boris Claudio 'Lalo' Schifrin. 


“The University of Redlands, respectfully and with deep appreciation, commends and honors Boris Claudio “Lalo” Schifrin, an outstanding composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor, whose remarkable career has influenced generations through his film scores, recordings, and performances. A prolific composer, his discography boasts more than 100 albums, including recordings with musical legends such as tango innovator Astor Piazzolla and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges.

“Born in Buenos Aires, Schifrin studied piano with Enrique Barenboim and Andrea Karalis and harmony with composer Juan Carlos Paz before attending the University of Buenos Aires where he studied sociology and law. As the young Mr. Schifrin became interested in jazz during his teenage years, he successfully applied for a scholarship at the age of 20 to attend the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied during the day and performed in the jazz clubs of Paris at night. When he returned to Buenos Aires in the 1950s, he established a 16-piece jazz orchestra—the first of its kind in Latin America! It was during one of the band’s performances that Schifrin was discovered by trumpet virtuoso Dizzy Gillespie, and Schifrin soon became Dizzy’s pianist, arranger, and musical director. Schifrin also worked as an arranger for Latin orchestra bandleader Xavier Cugat and more recently in the 1990s as the principal arranger for the Three Tenors.

“A move to the United States in 1958 had set Schifrin on the path to what would become an astonishing career. As a composer of both concert and film music, Mr. Schifrin’s work is best characterized as a “synthesis of traditional and 20th-century techniques and a love for jazz.” He is best known for his instantly recognizable work in film and television music, having written more than 100 scores, including those for Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, The Amityville Horror, Starsky & Hutch, Planet of the Apes, and many others. The lasting influence and historical significance of the Mission: Impossible recording was formally recognized when it was enshrined in 2017 into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In addition to that tremendous honor, Schifrin has won five Grammy Awards—with an astonishing twenty-two nominations—and both a Cable ACE Award and Emmy Award. His illustrious career was marked by six Academy Award nominations.

“Boris Claudio “Lalo” Schifrin is an inspiring composer, pianist, and conductor who has left an indelible mark on generations over the course of his 60-plus-year career. For this and more, be it resolved that the University of Redlands conveys its deepest respect and gratitude to this musical icon and commends him for his ability to celebrate and capture the beauty of the human spirit.”