Composer Oscar Martín Leanizbarrutia has been presented with the International Film Music Critics Association Award for Breakthrough Composer of the Year by IFMCA member Juan Carlos Jiménez.
Leanizbarrutia was honored for his enormously impressive mainstream work scoring the Spanish-language Claret, a historical drama based on the life of the Antonio Maria Claret, who founded the religious order of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, commonly called the Claretians, in Spain in the mid-1800s, and who is today considered one of the great religious leaders and scholars of his time. He established libraries and schools and centers of learning, was a trusted confidant of Queen Isabella II, and was eventually canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950, 80 years after his death. The film was directed by Pablo Moreno, and starred Antonio Reyes in the title role.
The other nominees in the Breakthrough category were Amie Doherty, Stephanie Economou, Arthur Sharpe, and Raphaelle Thibaut
Leanizbarrutia was born in the city of Palencia in Castilla y León, Spain, in September 1989, and studied clarinet performance at the Conservatoire of Music of Palencia, before going on to study composition, electroacoustic, counterpoint, orchestration, advanced harmony, and conducting at the Royal High Conservatoire of Music of Madrid, before achieving a masters degree in film scoring at the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio in Madrid. He began his professional career in 2013 working for Three Columns Entertainment, which produced more than thirty projects, including television shows, short films, and documentaries, before making his feature film scoring debut in 2016 with the religious-themed dramas Poveda and Luz de Soledad, which were also directed by Pablo Moreno.
His score for the 2017 film Red de Libertad was a nominee for Best Original Score at the International Christian Film Festival, and achieved some positive response from the global film music community. Claret is his fifth feature score, and was the recipient of significant critical acclaim.
In talking about the score, IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that Claret was “one of the best scores of 2021, a moving and powerful epic built around one of the year’s most outstanding main themes,” while IFMCA member John Mansell said that the score was “a triumph … totally absorbing … a perfect example of pure musical emotion, with so many poignant and affecting parts that it is hard to take it all in”.
See below for the acceptance speech video: