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IFMCA Award Winners 2019

February 20, 2020 1 comment

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2019 IFMCA AWARDS; JOHN WILLIAMS REIGNS SUPREME WITH MULTIPLE AWARDS HONORING HIS FINAL STAR WARS SCORE, THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

FEBRUARY 20, 2020 — The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2019, in the 2019 IFMCA Awards.

The award for Score of the Year goes to legendary veteran John Williams for his score for the ninth and final Star Wars film, “The Rise of Skywalker,” which concluded the sequel trilogy of adventures about the scavenger Rey, heroic former Stormtrooper Finn, and Kylo Ren, the leader of the Imperial First Order. The film is directed by J.J Abrams, and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver. In describing the score, IFMCA member James Southall described “The Rise of Skywalker” as ‘one last brilliant piece of musical adventure to call time on his signature work … a triumphant conclusion to an extraordinary musical saga,’ and also said that ‘it’s simply impossible to overstate Williams’s contribution to the series’ success’. The score is also named Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film, while the main theme “The Rise of Skywalker” is named Film Music Composition of the Year. Read more…

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Academy Award Winners 2019

February 9, 2020 Leave a comment

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have announced the winners of the 92nd Academy Awards, honoring the best in film in 2019.

In the Best Original Score category composer Hildur Guđnadóttir won the award for her score for the dark comic book origin story Joker, directed by Todd Phillips, and starring Joaquin Phoenix. With this win Guđnadóttir became the first female composer to win an Oscar since Anne Dudley for The Full Monty in 1997, and became the first composer in history, of any gender, to win all the big five composing awards – Oscar, Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA – in the same awards cycle. In accepting her award, Guđnadóttir said:

“Wow. This is so touching. Thank you to the Academy for welcoming me so warmly, it’s just… I don’t know what to say! My fellow nominees, masters of the craft, it’s been such an honor to get to know you all, so special. A film composer is only as creative as the dialogue with the director. Todd Phillips was so generous to invite me on this journey, and listen to me the whole way, so attentively, and I thank you for that, so deeply. And Bradley [Cooper] as well! Thank you Bradley. My family, my beautiful family, who are here with me tonight. My incredible husband Sam, my love, my best friend, my other set of ears, I’d be lost without you. My, mother, my son Cody, I can’t see you, but I love you so much! I love you. To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters, who hear the music bubbling within: please speak up. We need to hear your voices.”

The other nominees were Alexandre Desplat for Little Women, Randy Newman for Marriage Story, Thomas Newman for 1917, and John Williams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

In the Best Original Song category, the winners were Elton John and Bernie Taupin for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

The other nominees were Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for “Into The Unknown” From Frozen II; Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo for “Stand Up” from Harriet; Randy Newman for “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4; and Diane Warren for “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough.

IFMCA Award Nominations 2019

February 6, 2020 Leave a comment

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED; HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR RECIEVES FIVE NOMINATIONS; MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, BEAR McCREARY, THOMAS NEWMAN, JOHN WILLIAMS

FEBRUARY 6, 2020. The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2019, for the 16th annual IFMCA Awards. For the first time in IFMCA history a female composer leads the field, with Icelandic composer and cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir receiving five separate nominations for her work on the critically acclaimed comic-book drama “Joker,” and for the devastating HBO television series “Chernobyl”. These are the first nominations for Guðnadóttir, who is nominated in the categories for Film Score of the Year, Composer of the Year, Drama Score, Television Score, and Film Music Composition of the Year. IFMCA member James Southall was particularly complementary about “Joker,” describing it as having ‘complexity in its extraordinary emotional depth,’ and calling it a ‘primal’ score which ‘made him think’.

Also nominated for both Score of the Year and Composer of the Year are veteran composers Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, and John Williams. French composer Desplat’s most lauded score of 2019 is the one he wrote for director Greta Gerwig’s new adaption of the classic American novel “Little Women,” which is also nominated for Drama Score. IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that the score ‘overflows with gorgeous orchestrations, sublime instrumental combinations and harmonies,’ and has ‘a dramatic sense of freedom and movement, effortless elegance, and lush emotional content’. Desplat’s other major scores in 2019 include the French drama “Adults in the Room,” the animated sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and director Roman Polanski’s look at the Dreyfus Affair of 1906 in “J’accuse”. Desplat previously won the IFMCA Score of the Year award in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. Read more…

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BAFTA Winners 2019

February 2, 2020 Leave a comment

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have announced the winners of the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2019.

In the Best Original Music category, the winner was Hildur Guđnadóttir, who took home the award for her work on the dark comic book drama Joker, directed by Todd Phillips, and starring Joaquin Phoenix. With this victory Guđnadóttir became the first female winner of the award in BAFTA history. Accepting her award, Guđnadóttir said:

“Thank you BAFTA. I think my English in-laws are pretty proud of me right now, so I’d like to thank them! Joker… working on Joker was a journey of a lifetime, really, and Todd is a master for having steered that ship, and it was such an incredible, incredible honor to work on this film and create it with so many amazing artists that are here tonight who did such an incredible job, and I just really, really would like to share this with all of you. I’m such a fan of your work, and you are incredible. Thank you so much. Thank you”

The other nominees were Alexandre Desplat for Little Women, Michael Giacchino for Jojo Rabbit, Thomas Newman for 1917, and John Williams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

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Movie Music UK Awards 2019

January 19, 2020 2 comments

Popular opinion among the film music community has posited that 2019 was the worst year of the decade for new original scores, and while that may be the case for the majority of mainstream Hollywood, that is absolutely not the case for the wider film music world. Yet again, I have to stress that there is some absolutely tremendous film music being written out there by a plethora of young, ambitious, supremely talented composers – if only people are prepared to step from out of their comfort zones and actually seek it out.

My choices for the Scores of the Year all meet the criteria of what I believe makes for outstanding film music: rich, varied ensembles that blend orchestras with electronics, vocals, and soloists in interesting ways; compelling musical architecture which tells a story and supports the visuals in a way which draws the viewer and/or listener into the film’s narrative; inventive writing which uses different themes, interesting compositional ideas, and clever techniques; and strong emotional content which connects the audience with the film it is accompanying.

Four of my five nominees for Score of the Year are indeed from mainstream American productions – one of which is from the granddaddy of all blockbuster franchises – but as you go further and further down the list you will find several works from Asia (Japan, China, Vietnam), as well as contemporary fantasy dramas from Germany, historical biopics from Switzerland, romantic comedies from Sweden and France, historical war movies from Spain, documentaries from Romania, and animated films from all across the globe! So, without further ado, here are my choices… Read more…

Academy Award Nominations 2019

January 13, 2020 Leave a comment

oscarstatuette The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have announced the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards, honoring the best in film in 2019.

In the Best Original Score category, the nominees are:

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for Little Women
  • HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR for Joker
  • RANDY NEWMAN for Marriage Story
  • THOMAS NEWMAN for 1917
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

This is the first Oscar nomination for Guðnadóttir, and the eleventh nomination for Desplat, who previously won for The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, and for The Shape of Water in 2017. The Newman cousins now have 22 nominations between them – nine for Randy, and thirteen for Thomas – but neither have previously had a Best Score win.

Incredibly, this is the 52nd Oscar nomination for John Williams, which breaks his own record for the most nominated living person, and maintains his position as the second most nominated person of all time after Walt Disney (who had 59). He previously won Academy Awards for Fiddler on the Roof in 1971, Jaws in 1975, Star Wars in 1977, E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, and Schindler’s List in 1993.

In the Best Original Song category, the nominees are:

  • KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ and ROBERT LOPEZ for “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II
  • JOSHUAH BRIAN CAMPBELL and CYNTHIA ERIVO for “Stand Up” from Harriet
  • ELTON JOHN and BERNIE TAUPIN for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman
  • RANDY NEWMAN for “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4
  • DIANE WARREN for “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough

The winners of the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on February 9, 2020.

SCL Award Winners 2019

January 7, 2020 Leave a comment

The Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) has announced the winners of the first annual SCL Awards, honoring the best in film and television music in 2019. The SCL is the premier professional trade group for composers, lyricists, and songwriters working in the motion picture, television, and game music industry, and is headquartered in Los Angeles. The winners are:

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A STUDIO FILM
• HILDUR GUĐNADÓTTIR for Joker

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN INDEPENDENT FILM
• KATHRYN BOSTIC for Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION OR STREAMING PRODUCTION
• HILDUR GUĐNADÓTTIR for Chernobyl

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG FOR VISUAL MEDIA
• JOSHUAH BRIAN CAMPBELL and CYNTHIA ERIVO for “Stand Up” from Harriet

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCORE FOR INTERACTIVE MEDIA
• GORDY HAAB and STEPHEN BARTON for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

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