Cristobal Tapia de Veer

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Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Cristo leaning in front of film projection, where character Arby (Utopia) aims at him
Tapia de Veer during post-production for Utopia
Background information
Birth nameJuan Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Born (1973-10-18) October 18, 1973 (age 47)
Santiago, Chile

Juan Cristobal Tapia de Veer is a Chilean-born Canadian film and television score composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is best known for his music to the British TV series Utopia, for which he won an Royal Television Society award in the best original score category in 2013, and Channel 4's highly acclaimed National Treasure, which earned him a BAFTA in 2017. He has won awards from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada in 2003 and 2017.

Early life[edit]

Cristobal Tapia de Veer was born during the 1973 military coup d'état in Chile. First, his parents fled to Paris, France. While his father decided to stay there, his mother took him back to Chile. Life under Pinochet's dictatorship still proved impossible, so they found political refuge in Québec.[1]

Early career[edit]

Cristo obtained a master's degree in classical music (specializing in percussion) from the Conservatoire de musique du Québec. In 2001 he signed to Warner Music with his pop-band One Ton, putting a hold on his classical career. The trio won the Canadian Dance Music Award (SOCAN) in 2003 with the electro-dance single "Supersex World".[2] Cristo produced the album.[3]

Movie and TV scoring[edit]

In 2011, his music for the Victorian four-part drama The Crimson Petal and the White (directed by Marc Munden, BBC2) was well received by critics. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe, said: "The soundtrack ranges from gnawing electronic hums to choral ecstasy. It's all brilliantly, effectively, appropriately jarring".[4]

He went on to compose the music for the Channel 4 conspiracy thriller Utopia (created by Dennis Kelly) for which he won a Royal Television Society Craft & Design Award for "best original music"in November 2013.[5] The judges stated his "work blurred the lines between sound design and score, creating a soundtrack that the jury said felt like it was being played inside your head".[6] Up again for a RTS Award in 2014, the music for the second series won the Music & Sound Award in 2015 in the best Original TV score category.[7] His work on Utopia was nominated for Televisual Magazine's Bulldog Award for best music and subsequently released on yellow and green vinyl.[8][9]

In early 2014, Cristo completed the music for the TV-show Série noire, which aired on ICI-Radio-Canada Télé.[10] The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television awarded him with 2 Prix Gémeaux for best Original Music and Best Musical Theme the same year and again in 2016 for the second season.[11][12]

He also finished the works on BBC's Jamaica Inn, directed by Phillipa Lowthorpe (BAFTA award-winner for Call the Midwife).[13] Cristo then wrote the music for the first season of AMC's / Channel 4's co-production Humans,[5] which became Channel 4's biggest drama hit in 20 years.[14]

In 2016 he scored his first feature film, The Girl with All the Gifts, which opened the Locarno Film Festival. His music won in the Best Original Music category at the Festival international du film fantastique de Gérardmer, France, in 2017, and was hailed among fans and critics. Paramount Pictures used his opening theme, GIFTED, for the final trailer of the 2019 remake of Pet Sematary and Playstation for their videogame Call of Cthulhu.[15][16]

Cristo was unable to score the following season of Humans, because he teamed up with Marc Munden again, to work on National Treasure, Channel 4’s four-part drama inspired by Operation Yewtree, the police investigation into the sexual abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile and allegations against other media personalities. The mini-tv-series was a major success in Europe, earning several prizes, as well as a BAFTA and a FIPA D'OR at the Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels in Biarritz, France, for Cristo's original score.[17][18]

BBC America's series Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency found a strong fanbase in 2016, which is still waiting for a soundtrack album to be released. Due to Cristo's heavily charged schedule, he was not able to work on the second season.[19]

In the same year Amazon Prime offered Cristo to work on two episodes of the anthology series Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. He worked on HUMAN IS, starring Bryan Cranston as well as CRAZY DIAMOND, starring Steve Buscemi, for which he got a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award the following year.[20]

He also scored the Season 4 Finale of Netflix' dark futuristic cult series Black Mirror created and written by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones. The episode is entitled Black Museum with Letitia Wright, known for her previous roles in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War alongside Douglas Hodge.[21]

SOCAN awarded him with the SOCAN International Achievement Award in fall 2017, marking the first time that a composer for film and television has been awarded the prize. Previous recipients of the award include bands such as Arcade Fire.[22]

The innovative Cannes International Series Festival in France, CanneSeries, invited Cristo to be part of the jury for its first edition in 2018, alongside The Wire star Michael Kenneth Williams, German actress Paula Beer, Palme d'Or winner Melisa Sozen, French screenwriter and director Audrey Fouché known for Borgias, and Safe creator Harlan Coben.[23]

He then scored his second feature film in late 2018, an adaptation of Antonio Orejudo's dark novel Advantages of Traveling by Train, Ventajas de viajar en tren, directed by Aritz Moreno and produced by Morena Films in Spain. The anticipated first feature by Moreno unites a stellar cast, including Luis Tosar, Pilar Castro, Javier Botet and many more.[24] Moreno's first feature competed in major Film Festivals such as SITGES - Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, TOKYO International Film Festival, Brussels International Film, and was decorated as best Comedy at the Premios Goya in 2020.[25] Cristo's music for the film earned him a nomination at Spain's Premios Feroz[26]

Releases in 2020 include Jordan Peele's produced show Hunters for Amazon Prime, starring Al Pacino.[27], and the inventive drama The Third Day, written by Dennis Kelly in collaboration with Felix Barrett of immersive theatre company Punchdrunk International, produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainement for HBO/ SKY, in which Jude Law and Naomie Harris give stellar performances.[28]


Soundtrack releases[edit]

  • The Third Day: Summer (Milan Records / Sony Music, 2020)
  • Philip K. Dick's: Electric Dreams (La La Land Records / 2018)
  • Black Mirror: Black Museum (Lakeshore Records, 2018)
  • The Girl with all the Gifts (Mondo, Death Waltz Records, 2017)
  • National Treasure (Free Run Artists, 2017)
  • Humans (Silva Screen Records, 2015)
  • Utopia S2 (Silva Screen Records, 2014)
  • Utopia (Silva Screen Records, 2013)


  1. ^ short bio on Productions Multi-Monde
  2. ^ Chartattack Archived 2014-03-06 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ biography of Free Run Artists Agency, 2013, "Artists". Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2014-02-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe, 09.09.2012, Archived 2014-02-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Steven, Rachael (5 January 2017). "Cristobal Tapia de Veer on creating music for Humans and Utopia". Creative Review. Retrieved 29 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ RTS Craft & Design Awards announces winners "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-08-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Music & Sound Awards 2015 announces winners "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-20. Retrieved 2015-08-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Kudos Productions Archived 2014-03-26 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ O'Neill, Phelim (19 August 2014). "Experimental soundtracks and lavish orchestras – TV never sounded so good". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Radio-Canada TV Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ ACCT Prix Gémeaux liste des gagnants 2014 Archived 2014-09-12 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ ACCT Prix Gémeaux liste des gagnants 2016émeaux/Liste%20des%20finalistes/Gem2016-listedefinalistes-v15sept.pdf/ Archived 2020-07-12 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Internet Movie Database Archived 2018-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Plunkett, John (22 June 2015). "Humans becomes Channel 4's biggest drama hit in 20 years". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2019-07-24. Retrieved 29 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ official trailer Pet Sematary with Cristo's music
  16. ^ official Call fo of Cthulhu trailer with Cristo's music
  17. ^ "Television Craft: Original Music in 2017". Archived from the original on 2019-07-24. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  18. ^ "The FIPA d'Or Awards go to Saul Dibb and Merzak Allouache". Archived from the original on 2019-07-02. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  19. ^ SOCAN's official composer page, Cristobal Tapia de Veer
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Ventajas de viajar en tren". Archived from the original on 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  25. ^ Morena Film's official homepage, incl. Awards for the Film
  26. ^
  27. ^ Weiss, Josh (18 May 2020). "How 'Hunters' Curated Its Groovy '70s Soundtrack And Got A Thumbs Up From Bob Seger". Forbes. Retrieved 29 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Frontview Magazine

External links[edit]