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Composer/keyboardist Mychael Danna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and showed musical talent early in life. Singing and piano lessons defined his childhood and early adolescence, but a hand injury at age 14 ended his piano career.
Danna switched over to synthesizer instead and concentrated on his composing skills. After earning a degree in composition from the University of Toronto and winning the prestigious Glenn Gould Composition Award his final year there, Danna began his film scoring career, which includes over 15 features and documentaries. Danna also served for a time as composer-in-residence for the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto.
His fusion of different styles of music and keen arrangement skills make Danna a versatile and popular artist, whether scoring films, working on his own new age compositions (Skys, Sirens), collaborating with his composer brother Jeff Danna (A Celtic Tale), or working with Tim Clement on electronic environmental pieces (Summerland, North of Niagra).
Mychael Danna (born September 20, 1958) is a Canadian film composer. He won both the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Original Score for Life of Pi. He has also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) in his work on World Without End: Medieval Life and Death Part 1 and 2.
Life and career
Danna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but his family moved to Burlington, Ontario when he was four weeks old. He is the brother of fellow composer Jeff Danna. He has been scoring films since his 1987 feature debut for Atom Egoyan's Family Viewing, a score which earned Danna the first of his thirteen Genie Award nominations. He has won five times for Achievement in Music - Original Score. Danna is recognized as one of the pioneers of combining non-Western sound sources with orchestral and electronic minimalism in the world of film music. This reputation has led him to work with such directors as Atom Egoyan, Deepa Mehta, Terry Gilliam, Scott Hicks, Ang Lee, Gillies MacKinnon, James Mangold, Mira Nair, Billy Ray, Joel Schumacher, and Denzel Washington. His soundtrack for Ang Lee's Life of Pi earned two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Original Song Pi's Lullaby.
He studied music composition at the University of Toronto, winning the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship in 1985. Danna also served for five years as composer-in-residence at the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto (1987–1992). Works for dance include music for Dead Souls (Carbone Quatorze Dance Company, directed by Gilles Maheu 1996), and a score for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Gita Govinda (2001) based on the 1000-year-old classical Gita Govinda, with choreographer Nina Menon.http://www.insidehalton.com/what's%20on/article/1565364--life-of-pi-golden-for-burlington-s-mychael-danna "Canada's Awards Database". Academy.ca. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
Danna's wife Aparna is of Indian origin; the couple has two sons. He is the older brother of composer Jeff Danna.
Recent projects include Deepa Mehta's Water, Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies, Terry Gilliam's Tideland, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Little Miss Sunshine, Bennett Miller's Capote, and Marc Webb's (500) Days of Summer.