Giona Ostinelli

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Giona Ostinelli
Jorge Calandrelli, Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli at DMI Grammy Party.JPG
From left to right: Jorge Calandrelli, Sonya Belousova, and Ostinelli at a 2014 Grammy Party
Background information
Born (1986-03-12) March 12, 1986 (age 33)
Vacallo, Switzerland
Occupation(s)Composer, producer, musician

Giona Ostinelli (born March 12, 1986) is a Swiss–Italian composer who resides and works in Los Angeles.

Ostinelli is best known for his critically acclaimed work on Netflix's hit fantasy series The Witcher starring Henry Cavil. The Witcher Original Soundtrack Album, featuring songs and score composed and produced by Ostinelli and his scoring partner Sonya Belousova, has achieved commercial success and critical recognition. The album debuted #1 on iTunes Top Soundtracks[1] with the enormously successful hit single "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher" #1 on iTunes Top Soundtrack Songs[2] and #1 on Billboard Digital Rock Songs Sales.[3] The album charted #4 on iTunes for Top Albums (behind only Eminem, Breaking Benjamin, and Chase Rice)[4] and in the top ten in every major territory in the world. "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher" broke into the Billboard charts: Billboard Top Current Albums,[5] Billboard Top Album Sales,[6] Billboard Top Soundtrack Albums,[7] and The Billboard 200.[8] The song has quickly become a viral sensation and a worldwide phenomenon. New York Post called it "the breakout hit,"[9] Thrillist "the biggest banger of 2020,"[10] Entertainment Weekly "a viral hit,"[11] Esquire "the best part of Netflix's series,"[12] The Verge "the hit song of the season,"[13] while Forbes stated that "the viral earworm became just as famous as the show."[14]

Ostinelli has written scores for over 35 feature films that premiered at Sundance Film Festival,[15] Tribeca Film Festival,[16][17] Cannes International Film Festival,[18] South by Southwest Film Festival,[19][20] among others. Ostinelli's score for breakout psychological thriller Darling released by Lakeshore Records and fan favorite Mondo Records has been described as "one of the most interesting and innovative soundscapes".[21] His soundtrack for POD has been shortlisted for the Academy Awards for Best Original Score.[22]

Ostinelli is also known for his work on Tobio: The Puppet Master (Тобио: Мастер Кукол) – a theater production directed by George Dolmazyan (Георгий Долмазян), recipient of the Russian Ministry of Culture Award.[23][24][25] Tobio: The Puppet Master premiered on April 23, 2013 at the Moscow State Theater U Nikitskikh Vorot (Московский Государственный Театр у Никитских Ворот) in Moscow, Russia.[26]

The Huffington Post described Ostinelli as "an innovator with "surprise" coded into his DNA".[27]

Early life and education[edit]

Ostinelli was born in Vacallo, Switzerland. His mother, Mariella Ostinelli Socchi, is a well-known Swiss painter.[28] Ostinelli started playing drums at the age of 5 and piano at the age of 9. He holds degrees in film scoring from Berklee College of Music and University of Southern California Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program where he was a selected protege of renowned film composer Alan Silvestri.[29]

That was so special to me because I grew up listening to his [Alan's] music and never thought that one day I would have such a fantastic opportunity of meeting him. Alan and I spoke a lot, especially about the business side and inner relations of the industry, which was incredibly valuable for me at that early stage of my career.[30]

Film and television music[edit]

Ostinelli's soundtrack for The Mist was released in 2017 by BMG Records. The record contains exclusively Ostinelli's score for the show.[31] Based on the Stephen King's novella of the same name, The Mist has been reimagined for television by Christian Torpe and stars Frances Conroy, Alyssa Sutherland and Morgan Spector.[32]

In 2016 Ostinelli wrote the score for Darling, a breakout psychological thriller directed by Mickey Keating starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young and Larry Fessenden. Ostinelli's original soundtrack was released by Lakeshore Records, with fan favorite Mondo Records releasing a special edition on vinyl.[33] The score received a wide critical acclaim being praised by Film Music Critics as "one of the most interesting and innovative soundscapes",[21] The New York Times described it as "a soundtrack alternating among ambient Lynchian strains and snatches of hard-core rock",[34] and IndieWire stated "what builds the unsettling atmosphere in Darling is the fantastic sound work that enhances the imagery on screen".[35]

In 2016 Ostinelli scored Keating's action-thriller Carnage Park that received its world premiere at Sundance and played at the SXSW. The A.V. Club raved: "Carnage Park's score is full of unnerving dissonance, fueling the sense of dread... But for all the off-kilter instrumentation and recording techniques, Ostinelli always keeps a notion of harmony and melody underneath the surface. It's perfect for Carnage Park because the score works on different levels, much like the film."[36] Collider stated that "the sepia color palette pairs perfectly with Keating's shot selection and Giona Ostinelli's original score. Together they manage to cover an especially impressive range between classic western heist flick and sheer nightmare."[37] Carnage Park marks Ostinelli's fourth collaboration with Keating having previously scored Keating's POD, compared to "the best of the X-Files" by Richard Whittaker of The Austin Chronicle.[38] "POD is a solid and nihilistic thriller that will get in your head and under your skin. One of the reasons for this is the music by composer Giona Ostinelli," – writes Sinful Celluloid.[39] Ostinelli's score for POD was shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Awards.[40] Another collaboration of Ostinelli/Keating is Lionsgate's Ritual,[41] "aided greatly by the atmospheric musical score composed by Giona Ostinelli… Ostinelli's soundscape helps the plot move quickly and really gives you chills up the spine during many scenes in the film," – depicts Robyn Andrew of Cryptic Rock.[42]

Ostinelli wrote the score for Two-Bit Waltz starring Academy award nominees William H. Macy and David Paymer, Jared Gilman, Rebecca Pidgeon and Clara Mamet from executive producer Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet.[17][43] Directed by Clara Mamet Two Bit Waltz premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival[44] with Danny Gonzalez of The Examiner calling Ostinelli's score "musical magic".[30] Same year Indigenous featuring original score by Ostinelli premiered at Tribeca.[16] From Kilburn Media and producers of Chef and End of The Tour Indigenous was described as "the most intriguing film screening at this year's Tribeca Film Festival" by Bloody Disgusting.[45]

Ostinelli's other notable film credits include M.F.A. starring Francesca Eastwood and Emmy nominee Clifton Collins Jr.,[46] The Boat Builder starring Emmy winner Christopher Lloyd and Golden Globe nominee Jane Kaczmarek,[47] Like Me starring Addison Timlin and Larry Fessenden,[46] Carter High starring Emmy winner Charles S. Dutton, MTV Movie Award winner Vivica A. Fox, Pooch Hall and BET Award winner David Banner from the executive producer and former NFL star Greg Ellis,[48][49] How Sarah Got Her Wings[50] starring Teen Choice Award nominee Derek Theler and Lindsey Gort, Christmas Switch starring MTV Movie Award winner William Baldwin and nominee Denise Richards,[51] Little Loopers starring Grammy nominee Natalie Imbruglia, Golden Globe nominee Rob Morrow and Mark Moses,[52] Ghost Squad starring Emmy nominee Kevin Nealon,[51] The Remains starring Todd Lowe, Brooke Butler and Maria Olsen, Recovery starring Rachel DiPillo, Samuel Larsen, James Landry Hébert and Kirby Bliss Blanton, Opening Night starring Grammy nominee Cheyenne Jackson and Anthony Rapp,[53] Little Miss Perfect starring Lilla Crawford.

In 2015 Nickelodeon premiered The Massively Mixed-Up Middle School Mystery with original score by Giona Ostinelli.[54][55] The Massively Mixed-Up Middle School Mystery premiered #1 ranked program at its time in re K6-11 demographic. Same year Ostinelli scored CBBC TV pilot Zombies Next Door.

Ostinelli has been invited to contribute original music and orchestrate many films and television series including Homeland (Showtime), Elementary (CBS), Game Change (HBO), 24: Live Another Day (FOX), Minority Report (FOX), Community (ABC), New Girl (FOX), Happy Endings (ABC), Bones (FOX), Before I Go To Sleep (Millennium Films, StudioCanal), Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (FOX), Abduction (Lionsgate), among others.

Music for theater[edit]

In 2012 Ostinelli was commissioned by the MOST Theater (Театр МОСТ)[56] of Moscow, Russia to write an original score for Tobio: The Puppet Master (Тобио: Мастер Кукол), directed by George Dolmazyan (Георгий Долмазян), the recipient of the Russian Ministry of Culture Award.[23] Tobio: The Puppet Master premiered on April 23, 2013 at the Moscow State Theater U Nikitskikh Vorot (Московский Государственный Театр у Никитских Ворот).[57][58] The commercial announcements of the show heavily advertised the score being "written for the show by Hollywood composer Giona Ostinelli" ("музыка, написанная для спектакля голливудским композитором Джионой Остинелли").[59][60][61]

"Tobio reminds me of a beautiful film with sudden transitions and change of scenes. One – and there's a foggy city street and scurrying around shadows with huge umbrellas. Two – and in stuffy scarlet light there're Eastern beauties ringing their bracelets dancing for their Peacock king. Three – and there's funny corps de ballet flying around a diva soloist and quarreling opera prima donnas. George Dolmazyan with mild irony and flawless taste builds a spectacular, bright and atmospheric show," – describes Alisa Nikolskaya of Teatralnaya Afisha (Театральная Афиша).[62] ("Тобио" напоминает красивый фильм с мгновенной сменой кадров. Раз – и появляются туманная городская улица и снующие тени с огромными зонтами. Два – и вот уже в душном алом свете восточные красавицы звенят браслетами, танцуя для своего Короля-Павлина. Три – и смешной кордебалет порхает вокруг красавца-солиста и ссорящихся оперных примадонн. Георгий Долмазян с мягкой иронией и безупречным вкусом выстраивает эффектное, яркое, атмосферное зрелище.)[62]



Year Title Director Production Company
2015 The Boat Builder Arnold Grossman Blue Creek Pictures, Reunion Films
2015 Carter High Arthur Muhammad Sweet Chariot Productions
2015 Darling Mickey Keating Glass Eye Pix, Alexander Groupe
2015 Carnage Park Mickey Keating Diablo Entertainment
2015 How Sarah Got Her Wings Gary Entin and Edmund Entin MarVista Entertainment
2015 Christmas Trade Joel Souza Brand Inc. Entertainment
2015 POD Mickey Keating Alexander Groupe, Illium Pictures
2015 The Remains Thomas Della Bella Diablo Entertainment, EBF Productions
2015 Little Miss Perfect Marlee Roberts Face Your Beast Productions
2015 Recovery Darrell Wheat Diablo Entertainment, EBF Productions
2015 Ghost Squad Joel Souza Brand Inc. Entertainment
2015 Little Loopers Jim Valdez Brand Inc. Entertainment
2015 Way of The Monkey's Claw Marc Price Next Exit
2015 I Am Evangeline Christine Rogers Briarbird & Co
2015 Sorrow Millie Loredo Film Vérité Productions
2015 Ditch Day Massacre Joe Hendrick Water Tree Media
2014 Two-Bit Waltz Clara Mamet EBF Productions
2014 Indigenous Alastair Orr Kilburn Media
2014 Opening Night Jack Henry Robbins EBF Productions, Marina Productions
2014 Happy Camp Josh Anthony Flower Films, Hogtown Productions
2014 To Survive Stephen Folker No Pebble Films
2014 Happy Log Gary R. Thieman GRT Productions
2014 The Night Stalkers Chelsea Stardust Peters N/A
2014 Washed David Hefner Smoking Cat Films
2013 Ritual Mickey Keating EBF Productions, After Dark Films
2013 Magpie Marc Price Nowhere Fast Productions
2013 Realm of Souls Chase Smith Spirit World Productions
2013 Perdition Chase Smith Spirit World Productions
2013 Drowned Out Nicholas K. Lory and Leo Claussen Zissou Pictures
2009 Ecoviews: Three Stories From The Chesapeake Bay Brad Allgood N/A


Year Title Director / Creator Production Company & Network
2019 The Witcher Lauren Schmidt Hissrich The Sean Daniel Company / Netflix
2017 The Mist Christian Torpe The Weinstein Company / Spike TV
2015 The Massively Mixed-Up Middle School Mystery Will Eisenberg and Aaron Eisenberg Principato-Young Entertainment / Nickelodeon
2014 24: Live Another Day (additional music) Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow Imagine Television / FOX
2013 Destroy The Alpha Gammas Scott Brown 50,000 Ronin Productions
2013 Edge of Normal Amanda Overton Wonderly
2013 Red Scare Lee Citron N/A
2013 Vigilante Ciaran Michael Vejby N/A
2013 Bite Night Magee Clegg Subway
2012 Game Change (additional music) Jay Roach HBO
2012 Elementary (additional music) Robert Doherty Hill of Beans Productions / CBS
2011 Happy Endings (additional music) David Caspe Fan Fare / ABC
2011 Community (additional music) Dan Harmon Universal Media Studios / NBC
2011 Homeland (additional music) Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon Teakwood Lane Productions / Showtime
2011 Second Chance Charlie Amanda Overton N/A


Premiere Title Director Theater Artistic Director
April 23, 2013 Tobio: The Puppet Master (Тобио: Мастер Кукол) George Dolmazyan (Георгий Долмазян) MOST Theater (Театр МОСТ) Eugene Slavutin (Евгений Славутин)

Short films[edit]

Year TItle
2015 The Girl in the Green Dress
2015 Luke 8
2015 Bed
2015 Kafka
2014 Decay
2014 Zari
2014 Collared
2014 A Hot Night in Georgia
2014 Daniel
2014 Without You
2013 Desdy
2013 After Hours
2013 Unrequited
2013 Shelton's Oasis
2013 Check Out
2013 Conscious
2013 Little Reaper
2012 The Concession
2012 The Chemist
2012 Brutus
2012 Bobby's Girl
2012 Angel
2012 In Half
2012 Most High
2012 My Infinity
2012 The Beast
2011 Birth Mark
2011 Smell My Feet
2011 Getting Back En Pointe
2011 A Made Man
2011 Fallen
2011 Ruby Slippers
2011 Kev Ntsiag To
2011 A Perfect Day
2011 L & R
2011 Out of Hand
2011 The Frog Prince
2011 Wedding Night
2011 Uzak
2011 You Talk And I will Shoot
2010 Due
2010 Breaking The Circle
2010 Pillow Talk
2010 Scal's Big Tip

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2014 The Streamy Awards Best Original Score Nominated[63]
2014 IAWTV International Academy of Web Television Awards Best Original Score Nominated[64]
2012 Telly Award Best Use of Music Won[65][66]


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External links[edit]