by Dan Goldwasser
Last month, BMI, the performing rights organization, held an awards ceremony honoring the composers and songwriters of the music in the top-grossing films and top-rated prime-time network television shows of the year. The annual BMI Film & Television Awards was a black-tie gala held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, and the awards were presented by BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston (along with Vice President Doreen Ringer-Ross).
The top winner of the evening was, by far, Thomas Newman who garnered three BMI awards for his work on American Beauty, The Green Mile, and Erin Brokovich. Also presented with awards were Christopher Young (Entrapment), George S. Clinton (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), Mark Mancina (Tarzan), and Trevor Rabin (Deep Blue Sea). Two of the industry powerhouse composers were also presented with awards: John Williams (Star Wars - Episode One: The Phantom Menace) and Jerry Goldsmith (The Haunting, The Mummy).
Television composers also got awards that evening, including They Might Be Giants ("Malcolm in the Middle"), Pete Scaturro ("The Practice"), W.G. "Snuffy" Walden ("The Drew Carey Show", "The West Wing", "Providence") and Mike Post ("NYPD Blue", "Law and Order").
The Emmy award-winning composers were also honored that night, including Carl Johnson ("Invasion America"), and "Animaniacs" team Julie Bernstein, Steve Bernstein, Tim Kelly and Richard Stone. Joining all of the winners were BMI members Michael Kamen, Don Davis, Richard Stone, Jeff Fair, Starr Parodi, Adam Berry, Randy Newman, David Newman, Elia Cmiral, Michael Boddicker, and many many more.
Some time ago, the day before the Academy Awards ceremony, the Society of Composers and Lyricists held a pre-Oscar party at the Hollywood home of nominee Diane Warren. On hand for the reception were nominees Gabriel Yared (The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Rachel Portman (The Cider House Rules). Of course, Ms. Warren was there, as was Music of the Heart director Wes Craven. Many others came out to support the nominees, including past winners Sidney Pollack, Marilyn and Alan Bergman as well as Mina Suvari, John Beal, Mark Waters, Alf Clausen, and a whole slew of SCL supporters. Joshua Bell, whose amazing performance in The Red Violin (which won Best Score), also made an appearance.
Special thanks to Ray Costa at Costa Communications and Hanna Bolte and Doreen Ringer-Ross at BMI for all of their help and assistance.