The multi-award winning film composer K.S. Elias composed the score for over 100 movies, television films, documentaries and over 400 television episodes – nationally and internationally.
After graduating from high school in Esslingen (am Neckar), he received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, but decided to study at Folkwang University of the Arts, where he studied from 1992 to 1998 and graduated with an artistic diploma.
He composed the music for the feature documentary “Of Fathers and Sons” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2019. The film was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (Best Documentary) and won the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Festival. In addition, the film screened at over 100 festivals worldwide and received over 30 awards. The music was praised in the “Hollywood Reporter”.
In 2021 he composed the music for “Kuhdamm 63”, so far in 2021 the most successful fictional program in the ZDF Mediathek.
In 2020/21 he was nominated for the second time in the category COMPOSITION AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA for the GERMAN MUSIC AUTHORS AWARD of the GEMA.
He composed the music for the award-winning feature film “RHYTHM IS IT!”, which won the GERMAN and the BAVARIAN FILM AWARD, among others. He recorded the music with the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. His score for the TV movie “Die Schatzinsel” (Treasure Island) and “Bella Block – Weiße Nächte” (Bella Block: White Nights) were awarded the GERMAN TELEVISION PRIZE in the category “Best Music”.
“Saudi Runaway”, for which he composed the music and which was positively reviewed in the Hollywood Reporter, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in February 2020 and screened there in the World Cinema Documentary Competition section. The film placed 2nd in the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlinale 2020 in the Panorama Documentary category. Saudi Runaway was also nominated for the Amnesty Film Award 2020. In the same year, the film was nominated for Best Documentary and won the European University Film Award at the European Film Awards.
Currently, the film “9 Days Awake” directed by Damien John Harper, for which K.S. Elias wrote the score, is nominated for the Baden Baden Television Film Festival.
“A Tunnel” for which he composed the music premiered at IDFA in 2019 and screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including the Trento Film Festival in Italy, the MakeDox Festival in North Macedonia and the Underhill Festival in Montenegro.
In 2019, he composed the music for the ZDF Neo series “Dunkelstadt”.
The German television station SWR and the film funding MFG awarded him the “Rolf-Hans-Müller-Preis für Filmmusik”. He was nominated for the first time in 2015 in the category COMPOSITION AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA for the German Music Authors Award of the GEMA. His music for the film “Im Himmel unter der Erde” (“In Heaven Underground”), which won the PANORAMAPREIS of the 61st Berlinale, was praised in the “Huffington Post” , the “The Jewish Week NY” and the “Film Journal International” at the film’s release in New York.
K.S. Elias composes for the successful German television series “Tatort”, “Polizeiruf” and “Schimanski”. He received a “Golden CD” for more than 150,000 records sold for the composition and production of the CD “Hinter Gittern” with songs and film music for the German television series.
For the TV movie “Die Spielerin” and “Die Fahnderin” he composed the film music, as well as for “Nichts mehr wie vorher”, which won the audience award of the “Deutsches Fernsehkrimi Festival” and received a nomination for the GERMAN TELEVISION AWARD 2014. In 2018, he composed the music for the TV film “Einmal Sohn immer Sohn,” which was produced by German broadcaster ARD to celebrate Christiane Hörbiger’s 80th birthday. The film achieved the best audience share in the broadcast slot (Friday evening 8:15 p.m.) on ARD in 2018.
At the cinema festival in Lünen, he was awarded the prize for Best Film Music for his compositions for the cinema documentary “Gerdas Schweigen”. His film music for the film “Siegfried” produced by Bernd Eichinger was preselected for the GERMAN FILM AWARD.
The feature film “Der Schmetterlingsjäger”, for which he wrote the score, was shown at the “Viennale” and at the “Duisburger Filmwoche”. He composed the music for the successful Sat1 series “Einstein”. The music for the SWR series “Labaule und Erben”. which can also be seen on Netflix, was also composed by K.S. Elias. The series gained an extraordinary streaming success in the ARD Mediathek, with over one million views. The feature film “Zwischen Welten,” for which he composed the music, screened in competition for the Golden Bear at the 64th Berlinale in 2014.
In 2016, the two-parter “Die Dasslers” received the Bernd Burgemeister Television Award at the Film Festival in Munich with his film music. For the Arthouse -Boxoffice success “Rabbi Wolff”, which received the Ecumenical Jury Award at the Achtung Berlin Film Festival, he composed the film music. As well as for the novel adaption “Die Puppenspieler” by Rainer Kaufmann, which ran in competition at the Filmfest München in 2017. For Otto Waalkes he wrote the big band and orchestral score for “Otto`s Eleven”. Likewise, he composed and arranged two family concerts for Otto Waalkes at the Berlin Philharmonie with orchestra and Otto as narrator. For the Nikolaisaal in Potsdam he composed a new version of “Weihnachtsgans Auguste” for orchestra and narrator.
For the recordings of his music, he has collaborated with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the BSOF, Giora Feidmann and Till Brönner, among others.
Elias was on the jury for the German Music Authors Award of GEMA in 2013 and 2014 and on the pre-selection jury for the GERMAN FILM AWARD in 2012.
In 2017, he published the article “Filmmusik heute – Aus dem Arbeitsalltag eines zeitgenössischen Filmkomponisten” (Film music today – from the daily work of a contemporary film composer) in „Handbuch Funktionale Musik“ (Handbook for Functional Music) published by Springer Professional. In the book „Filmmusik-Bekenntnisse“ by Béatrice Otterbau and Thomas Schadt, he gave insights into his work as a film composer.
In cooperation with the German Film Academy, its knowledge portal vierundzwanzig and the Babelsberg Film University, supported by the GEMA Foundation, he initiated a filmed masterclass in 2017, for which he interviewed the nominees of the German Film Award in the category “Best Music” and analyzed their compositions for their impact.
K.S. Elias was appointed professor for “Composition and Arrangement for Media” in the Master’s program Film Music at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf in 2013 and has been a full member of the Film University Senate since 2020.
Since 2017 he has been a member of the board of the German Film Academy.
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