This spring, two Performing Rights Organizations celebrated their clients in the film and television music industries in Beverly Hills, CA.
On May 6, over 1,000 people attended the ASCAP Film & TV Music Awards, which honored approximately three-dozen composers who had written the most-performed and highest rated television themes and underscore, and the box office theatrical hits from the past year. Marc Shaiman, who received an award for his work on Hairspray took the opportunity to sing a parody of his song "You Can't Stop the Beat" to the captive audience much to their delight. The centerpiece of the evening was the presentation of the ASCAP Founders' Award too the Oscar-winning husband-and-wife songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
Known for their work on such classic songs as "The Way We Were", "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (among countless others), the Bergmans were honored by fellow collaborators including writer Larry Gelbart, producer Norman Lear, composer/musician Quincy Jones, director Norman Jewison, and surprise guest, actress/singer/director Barbra Streisand.
(From left) Larry Gelbart, Norman Lear, Quincy Jones, ASCAP Founders Award honoree Alan Bergman, Barbra Streisand, ASCAP Founders Award honoree Marilyn Bergman, Lari White and Norman Jewison
(photo by Lester Cohen/Wireimage.com courtesy of ASCAP)
Later in the month, the BMI Film & TV Music Awards were held. Along with the various composers receiving awards for their works, two big awards were handed out. The Classic Contribution Award was given to composer Peter Golub in recognition of his work for the past ten years at the Sundance Institute's Film Composers Lab.
Doreen Ringer Ross (BMI), Peter Golub (2008 BMI Classic Contribution Award) and Del Bryant (President and CEO of BMI)
(photo courtesy of BMI)
The recipient of the Richard Kirk Award for Career Achievement this year was composer Christopher Young, who had scored the top-grossing film of the year, Spider-Man 3. Young was honored with a video by many of his collaborators, including directors Jon Amiel, Curtis Hanson and Sam Raimi. Amiel came out on stage afterwards to present Young with his award, and after a lengthy bit of reminiscing the evening came to a close.
Doreen Ringer Ross (BMI), Christopher Young (Richard Kirk Award Winner) and Del Bryant (President and CEO of BMI)
(photo courtesy of BMI)
Between the two organizations, well over $1 billion in performance rights collecting has taken place annually.
The full press releases follow.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Alan & Marilyn Bergman with the ASCAP Founders Award during its 23rd Annual Film & Television Music Awards being held this evening at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, CA. The prestigious award is being presented to the Bergmans in recognition of their half-century contribution to the Great American songbook. The composers of the top box office film music and the most performed television music of 2007 will also be honored at the invitation-only, black-tie gala event.
The evening will be highlighted with a tribute to the Bergmans by some of their long-time friends and collaborators, including Siedah Garrett, Lari White and pianist Mike Lang who will perform a selection of Alan and Marilyn's Academy Award-winning songs, and producer Norman Lear, producer/writer Larry Gelbart, director Norman Jewison, and composer/arranger/producer Quincy Jones who are among the special guest presenters.
Confirmed attendees include several veteran composers as well as the best and brightest of a new generation of writers, including Drake Bell from Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh; Marco Beltrami; Sean Callery; John Debney; Marc Shaiman; Brian D. Siewert; Scott Wittman and ASCAP Board Members Richard Bellis, Bruce Broughton and Johnny Mandel. Also attending will be legendary songwriter Jerry Leiber as well as ASCAP Board Members Barry Coburn of Ten-Ten Music Group; David Johnson of Warner Music Group; Dean Kay of Lichelle Music Company; and David Renzer of Universal Music Publishing Group; among many others.
Commenting on the award to Alan and Marilyn Bergman, ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento said: "For years, all of us at ASCAP have benefited from the vision and drive that Marilyn has brought to her role as the Society's President and Chairman of the Board. Now, we are especially proud to spotlight the achievements and illuminating songwriting of both Marilyn and Alan as members of ASCAP. During their fifty years together as partners in work and life, the exquisitely-crafted lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman have graced innumerable film, television and stage projects. The Bergmans have reached songwriting's pinnacle and received multiple awards for their peerless body of work. I can think of nobody more deserving of the Founders Award, the highest honor granted by ASCAP."
Alan and Marilyn Bergman are two of the most respected names in the Great American Songbook. Nominated for 16 Academy Awards, they've won three Oscars for Best Songs "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "The Way We Were," and for the score for Yentl. Their song "Moonlight," performed by Sting in the film Sabrina, brought nominations for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar. "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "The Way We Were" received Golden Globes and "The Way We Were" earned two Grammys. Their four Emmys are for "Sybil," "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom," "Ordinary Miracles" and "A Ticket to Dream." Principal collaborators include Michel Legrand, Dave Grusin, Cy Coleman, Johnny Mandel, Marvin Hamlisch, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Quincy Jones and James Newton Howard.
Among their many honors, Alan and Marilyn were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and subsequently received its Johnny Mercer Award. They also received the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award. Marilyn is a recipient of the Crystal Award from Women in Film.
In 1994, after serving five terms as the first woman elected to ASCAP's Board of Directors, Marilyn was elected ASCAP's President and Chairman. Continuing her career as a lyricist, she leads the Society with distinction, working tirelessly on behalf of songwriters in strengthening copyright protection.
Lyrically, Alan Bergman, a CD of Bergman songs sung by Alan Bergman was released on Verve last year to critical acclaim. Up Close and Musical, a musical theatre collaboration with the late, great composer Cy Coleman and text by Larry Gelbart is being prepared for Broadway.
The ASCAP Founders Award is presented to songwriters who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of songwriting genius that will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Elmer Bernstein, Jackson Browne, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Joel, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Sir George Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Sondheim, Steely Dan, Jule Styne, James Taylor, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.
Top Film and Television Music Composers of 2007
ASCAP's John LoFrumento,Todd Brabec, Nancy Knutsen, Sue Devine and Mike Todd will present awards in four categories – Most Performed Themes, Most Performed Underscore, Top Television Series and Top Box Office Films – to the composers behind the best and most successful film and television music of 2007. Among the winning composers are David Vanacore for Most Performed Themes, Most Performed Underscore, Survivor: China and Survivor: Fiji; Sean Callery for Most Performed Themes, Shark and 24; John Adair for The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Wizards of Waverly Place; Drake Bell for Drake and Josh; Marco Beltrami for Live Free or Die Hard; John Debney for Evan Almighty; Michael Giacchino for Ratatouille and Lost; James Newton Howard for I Am Legend; Russ Landau for Survivor: China and Survivor: Fiji; John Powell for The Bourne Ultimatum; Stephen Schwartz for Enchanted; Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for Hairspray; Brian D. Siewert for Most Performed Underscore; Alan Silvestri for Beowulf; Mark Snow for Most Performed Themes and Most Performed Underscore; and Hans Zimmer for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and The Simpsons Movie.
LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2008 –– BMI, the leading U.S. performing right organization, honored the composers of music featured in the past year's top-grossing films, top-rated prime-time network television series and highest-ranking cable network programs tonight at its annual Film & Television Awards. Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the black-tie gala was hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Film/TV Relations Vice President Doreen Ringer Ross, who handed out more than 80 BMI Crystals throughout the evening.
A highlight of the ceremony took the form of the Richard Kirk Award presentation to esteemed composer Christopher Young. Named after late BMI Vice President Richard Kirk, the prestigious award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music. As the 2008 honoree, Christopher Young joins an elite list of peers that includes George S. Clinton, Harry Gregson-Williams (PRS), Jerry Goldsmith, Thomas Newman, Michael Kamen, Mark Mothersbaugh, Danny Elfman, Alan Menken, Mike Post, Lalo Schifrin and John Williams.
Award-winning composer Christopher Young has carved out an enviable niche in the upper pantheon of Hollywood composers. The UCLA Film School alumnus first turned heads with fiendish scores for horror and science fiction projects, and he proceeded to garner accolades for work on macabre and fantastical films including Hellraiser, its Saturn award-winning sequel and Species, along with BMI award-winners Ghost Rider, The Grudge and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Young became a master of suspense, composing music for thrillers including Copycat and BMI honoree Entrapment, as well as dramatic and critical tours-de-force including Golden Globe nominee The Shipping News, Wonder Boys, Rounders and BMI award-winner Swordfish. He also fleshed out the haunting nuances and electrifying action sequences of box office gold Spiderman 3. The New Jersey native has also excelled in television composition, earning two Emmy nominations for telefilms Last Flight Out and Norma Jean & Marilyn. A dedicated mentor, Young has taught classes at USC, served as an advisor for the Sundance Institute's Film Composers Lab and created an innovative residential development to house aspiring composers in Los Angeles.
BMI also presented the Classic Contribution Award to Peter Golub in recognition of his progressive direction of the Sundance Institute's Film Composers Lab for the past ten years. An accomplished composer of film, theatre, ballet and concert works, Golub is a natural fit for the lab, which aims to enhance the role of music in independent film. His acute composition work includes scores for documentaries I.O.U.S.A. and Wordplay, along with films including The Great Debaters. Universally acknowledged as an unparalleled apprenticeship for the next generation of composing elite, the workshop has invaluably benefited from Golub's creative intuition and steady guidance.
BMI's Emmy-winning composers were also feted; the accomplished list included George Fenton (PRS) for the awe-inspiring documentary Planet Earth: Pole to Pole; William Ross for the 79th Annual Academy Awards; Lenny Williams for Nature: Christmas in Yellowstone; Yoav Goren for The XX Olympic Winter Games: The Stories of Torino; Katreese Barnes for Saturday Night Live's “Dick in a Box”; Gary Deinstadt, Billy Barber, Ron Komie, Danny Pelfrey and David Traugh for Guiding Light; along with Wes Boatman and John Henry Kreitler for “Love is Ecstasy” from Passions.
Legendary rocker turned lauded composer Pete Townshend (PRS) took home the evening's most awards, with three BMI Crystals for CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. Composers garnering two awards each were Steve Jablonsky for Transformers and Desperate Housewives; Rupert Gregson-Williams (PRS) for Bee Movie and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry; George Fenton for Fool's Gold and Planet Earth: Pole to Pole; Mychael Danna for Surf's Up and Medium; Aaron Zigman for Step Up 2: The Streets and Why Did I Get Married?; Kevin Kiner for Amazing Race and CSI: Miami; Mike Post for Law & Order and Law & Order SVU; and Matt Koskenmaki for Hell's Kitchen and The Ultimate Fighter.
The night's winning composers for top-grossing films and critically acclaimed gems also included past Richard Kirk Award recipient Harry Gregson-Williams (PRS) for Shrek the Third, Trevor Rabin for National Treasure: Book of Secrets, legendary composer and past Richard Kirk Award recipient Lalo Schifrin for Rush Hour 3, John Ottman for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Mark Mancina for television drama Criminal Minds, Randy Edelman for romantic comedy 27 Dresses, Tyler Bates for horror favorite Halloween and pop music architect Brian Wilson for HBO dramedy series Big Love.