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May 22, 2008


Composer Jeff Rona
Ceremonies and Symphonies - Page 1



Studied music, art and photography

Key and early involvement with MIDI

Written for KEYBOARD magazine

Written "The Reel World"

Official Web Site

Composition Credits (Film)

Sharkwater (2007)
Slow Burn (2007)
Brotherhood (2006)
A Thousand Roads (2005)
Exit Wounds
The In Crowd (2000)
Chill Factor (1999)
Middle Eastern Ensemble Producer: The Prince of Egypt (1998)
White Squall (1996)
Additional music: 
The Fan (1996)
Additional Music: Assassins (1995)


Composition Credits (TV)

The Legend of EarthSea
The Riverman

Mind Prey
Tom Clancy's mini-series Net Force
Chicago Hope









Composer Jeff Rona

"Well, it's grand, epic, melodic and uplifting...for the most part. Of course an entire concert of that would be akin to 'Chinese water torture.'"

Jeff Rona

Fresh off of the success of award-winning documentary, SHARKWATER, composer Jeff Rona talks about his latest project - composing a symphony for the regatta events of the Beijing Olympics.  He shares candidly about the challenges organizationally and musically that effort has faced, as well as detail regarding the music and performers themselves.

  Interview: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2
  Exclusive Music from Sharkwater


All Music Used by Permission


The Documentary, Sharkwater, has won 26 Awards!

The Documentary, Sharkwater, has won 26 Awards!

The Beijing Olympics: August 8 - 24, 2008

The Beijing Olympics: August 8 - 24, 2008



  Interview: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2

CC: First of all, congrats on the success of SHARKWATER.

JEFF RONA: Isn't that a nice thing? It seems to have meant quite a bit to a lot of people. It certainly brought success to the film-makers. They were just at Cannes announcing their next project.

CC: Do you think you will be involved with them again?

JEFF RONA: Oh god, yes.

CC: Among the 26 or so awards the film has garnered, you've gotten a "Best Score" award.

JEFF RONA: Yes, from ASCAP, just last week.

CC: Congrats on that too...and then again for your involvement with the Beijing Summer Olympics! That's huge.

JEFF RONA: Oh yes. That's been my main focus the last few weeks. It came up as a possibility late last year and so I went out to China in January to really talk it through. I only started writing a couple of months ago in February and March. I'm writing a symphonic suite for live performance. We are going to do a 4-city tour with 120 piece orchestra.

CC: What cities are you going to perform in?

JEFF RONA: The plan is for Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and the final city being Qingdao. This is where Olympic regatta, all the Olympic boating events, will be held. This city, Qingdao, is on the coast, of course, and they have built their own Olympic village, will be doing their own ceremonies and so on. Our tour will be the week leading up to the actual Games. So we'll be going town to town with this huge orchestra and some Chinese instrumentalists and also a couple of vocal soloists.

CC: It's interesting that you're scoring the regatta portion of the Olympics, since you've also scored Sharkwater and White Squall. Is "water" sort of a theme for you?

JEFF RONA: Well, those two are both bad things that happen in water. This one is a good thing! But seriously, there's no relationship. (laughs)

CC: So have you completed writing it?

JEFF RONA: Yes. It's pretty well done and we are going to record it in July and then do the concerts in August.

CC: You'll do the recording in China as well then.

JEFF RONA: Yes. We were commissioned by the orchestra. It's their concert, their show, their thing.

CC: Now are you working with Chen Qigang, who is the music director for the opening and closing ceremonies in any way?

JEFF RONA: No. This is unrelated.

CC: So there's no thematic bridge to what they are working?

JEFF RONA: No. This is a long story, but it was very important to them to have their own theme - that is just for "the ocean." So I have written this great, big "ocean theme."

CC: Very interesting. I had read some things about Chen Qigang being in the L.A. area and hiring composers to work on this project, so I thought there would be some sort of connection.

JEFF RONA: This came about through a completely different route. I did hear that KLAUS BADELT is writing something for the closing ceremonies. Other than that, I don't really know who has jumped in to write. Do you know anyone else?

CC: All I have read is that there was a falling out between composer TAN DUN and the ceremonies director, Zhang Yimou. And that's who I thought was one of the most natural choices to write the music for the games.

JEFF RONA: I believe he was writing for a while. I went to China and met with composer ZHAO JIPING, who is such a gentlemen, such a lovely guy. Now he was the head of the music committee for a fair period of time. This was pre-Tan Dun. Tan Dun then said that he didn't want to do it, so Zhao Jiping and his son, ZHAO LIN, was said to be doing it. And he, ZHAO LIN, is still involved actually. So I met with him and we talked and I gave him a bunch of music. He seemed very excited about the possibilities and then he quit. Then Tan Dun was doing the music for a while, but then stepped down, saying that he'd write but that he didn't want to be involved in the planning. Then Quincy Jones was supposed to be involved but he also stepped down.

CC: Sounds like it has been quite a saga already!

JEFF RONA: Yes it has. I have also been talking to them about several projects that would be linked to this main project, but for right now, I'm doing this, which is huge anyway! I have written an hour of music. Now that it is written, we've talked about playing it for some of the other aspects of the games, but as of now it is going to be this concert and for the Qingdao Symphony to perform in the four cities.

Read More of this interview here (Page 2)


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Miho Nomura (2008)
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Harry Gregson-Williams (2008)
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Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (2008)
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Scott Glasgow (2007)
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Jamie Christopherson (2007)
Mychael Danna (2007)
Howard Shore (2006)
Trevor Rabin  (2006)
John Debney
Greg Edmonson
Christopher Lennertz (2003)
Erik Lundborg
Ron Jones
Edward Shearmur
Christopher Lennertz (2002)
Thad Spencer
Don Davis (2001)
Hans Zimmer
Conrad Pope
Michael Giacchino
Don Davis (1999)
Jeff Rona (1999)





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