ASCAP Honors Top Film and Television Music Composers at 30th Annual Awards Celebration
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March 10, 2015

ASCAP Honors Top Film & TV Composers at 30th Annual Awards

Los Angeles, CA, March 10, 2015: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 30th annual Film & Television Music Awards last night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The invitation-only dinner and awards ceremony paid special tribute to Elliot Goldenthal and Deborah Lurie, and honored the composers of the top film, television and video game music of 2014.

Oscar-winning film, theater and classical music composer Elliot Goldenthal received the ASCAP Founders Award from four-time Oscar-nominated director Michael Mann, his collaborator on Heat and Public Enemies.There were congratulatory video messages from Julie Taymor, Salma Hayek and director Neil Jordan, and a live performance of music from Goldenthal's Cobb and A Time to Kill scores. The ASCAP Founders Award is given to composers and songwriters who have made pioneering contributions to music. Previous recipients include Quincy Jones, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Elmer Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Composer Deborah Lurie was honored with the ASCAP Shirley Walker Award. Lurie began her career scoring short films and has gone on to compose for features including An Unfinished Life and the box office hit Dear John. Paramount Music President Randy Spendlove and director Joe Nussbaum presented the award to Lurie, and her Much Ado About Nothing collaborator Joss Whedon contributed a congratulatory video. The Shirley Walker Award was established last year to honor those whose achievements have contributed to the diversity of film and television music. Shirley Walker, an ASCAP member, was one of the first prominent female composers working in film and television. She is remembered as a pioneer for women in the film industry.

ASCAP bestowed its Composers’ Choice Awards, chosen by its writer members through an online voting process. This year ASCAP expanded the Composers’ Choice Awards to include three categories: top ASCAP film score, TV composer and video game score of 2014. Film critic Leonard Maltin presented the Composers’ Choice Award for 2014 Film Score of the Year to Jóhann Jóhannsson, for his score from The Theory of Everything. Society of Composers & Lyricists President Ashley Irwin presented the Composers’ Choice Award for 2014 TV Composer of the Year to Sean Callery (Bones, Elementary, Homeland). And lastly, video game composer Jack Wall presented the first Composers’Choice Award for 2014 Video Game Score of the Year to Austin Wintory, for his score from The Banner Saga.

ASCAP also honored one of its own. Nancy Knutsen, a 27-year veteran of ASCAP’s Film & Television Music Department and former SVP, was completely surprised when Academy Award-winning composer John Williams took the stage to speak in her honor. Knutsen worked as Williams’s assistant during her time with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Performers during the evening included Shawn Patterson, who played his Grammy and Oscar-nominated song “Everything Is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie with vocalist Sammy Allen; songwriters Dave Kushner, Curtis Stigers and Bob Thiele, performing their theme to Sons of Anarchy; and a seven-piece house band playing some of the most acclaimed film songs of 2014: “Big Eyes” (from Big Eyes), “Opportunity” (from Annie), and “Tonight” (from Dumb and Dumber To).

Composers and songwriters honored in the Top Box Office Films category included Lorne Balfe (Penguins of Madagascar, Son of God), Joseph Bishara (Annabelle), Pedro Bromfman (RoboCop), Patrick Doyle (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), Sia Furler (Annie), Michael Giacchino (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Nick Glennie-Smith (Heaven Is for Real), Henry Jackman (Big Hero 6, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Greg Kurstin (Annie), Nicholas Littlemore (Dumb and Dumber To), Dario Marianelli (The Boxtrolls), Peter Mayes (Dumb and Dumber To), Bret McKenzie (Muppets Most Wanted), Will Musser (God’s Not Dead), John Paesano (The Maze Runner), Shawn Patterson (The LEGO Movie), Heitor Pereira (If I Stay), John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon 2, Rio 2), Steven Price (Fury), Trent Reznor (Gone Girl), Gustavo Santaolalla (The Book of Life), Howard Shore (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods), Luke Steele (Dumb and Dumber To), Fernando Velázquez (Hercules), Nathaniel Walcott (The Fault in our Stars), Nathan Whitehead (The Purge: Anarchy), ASCAP President Paul Williams (The Book of Life)and Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Son of God, The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

ASCAP composers whose combined works earned the highest number of performance credits on network, local and cable television in the category of themes and dramatic underscore for the 2014 survey year were Joel Beckerman, Sean Callery, Robert Duncan, Jay Ferguson, James Levine, Jeff Lippencott, Gabriel Mann, Didier Lean Rachou, David Vanacore and Mark T. Williams.

The composers who wrote the themes and underscore for the highest rated television series in 2014 were: J.J. Abrams (Almost Human, Person of Interest), Lee Aronsohn (Two and a Half Men), Matt Bowen (Bachelor in Paradise), Descemer Bueno (Lo Que La Vida Me Robó), Sean Callery (Bones, Elementary, Homeland), Jeff Cardoni (The Lottery), Lisa Coleman (Witches of East End), Fred Coury (The Night Shift), Catherine Dennis (American Idol), Scott Doherty (Orange Is the New Black), Jim Dooley (The Last Ship), Robert Duncan (Castle), Russell Emanuel (Mountain Men), Tobias Enhus (Almost Human), Marc Fantini (Criminal Minds), Steffan Fantini (Criminal Minds), Jay Ferguson (NCIS: Los Angeles), Jamie Forsyth (Bones), Grant Geissman (Mike & Molly, Two and a Half Men), Julian Gingell (American Idol), Scott Gordon (Criminal Minds), Jacob Groth (Unforgettable), Jay Gruska (Supernatural), Jared Gutstadt (The Voice), Mark Hadley (Twisted), Matthew Hawkins (NCIS), Lee Holdridge (When Calls the Heart), Jesse Huerta (Qué Pobres Tan Ricos), Joy Huerta (Qué Pobres Tan Ricos), Enrique Iglesias (Lo Que La Vida Me Robó), Robert Irving (When Calls the Heart), Maurice “m.O” Jackson (NCIS), Brandon Jay (Orange Is the New Black), Vincent Jones (Sullivan & Son), Kenneth Jordan (Almost Human), John Kavanaugh (Sofia the First), Josh Kelley (Mike & Molly), Dave Kushner (Sons of Anarchy, Sullivan & Son), Russ Landau (Survivor: Cagayan & San Juan Del Sur), Brian Lapin (Black-ish, Instant Mom, Madam Secretary), James Levine (Royal Pains, The Last Ship), Jeff Lippencott (Masterchef, Shark Tank, The Biggest Loser), John Lunn (Downton Abbey), Clare Manchon (Black Box), Olivier Manchon (Black Box), Gabriel Mann (Friends with Better Lives, Modern Family, The McCarthys, Twisted), Neil Martin (NCIS), Bear McCreary (Black Sails, Defiance, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander, The Walking Dead), Daniel McGrath (Dancing with the Stars), Wendy Melvoin (Witches of East End), Mateo Messina (Growing Up Fisher), Julia Newmann (Bones), John O’Brien (Sullivan & Son), John Paesano (Crisis, Dragons: Defenders of Berk), Shawn Patterson (Robot Chicken), Jeff Peters (The Voice), Josh Phillips (Dancing with the Stars), Photek (How to Get Away with Murder), Dave Porter (The Blacklist), Steven Price (Believe), Matthew Puckett (NY Med), Didier Lean Rachou (Gold Rush: The Dirt), Orr Rebhun (The Crazy Ones), Max Richter (The Leftovers), Ed Robertson (The Big Bang Theory), Jeff Rona (Dominion), Elvin Ross (The Haves and the Have Nots), Jeff Russo (Fargo), Schimmer Music Productions (The Voice), John Sereda (When Calls the Heart), Jeremy Silver (Friends with Better Lives), Stanley A. Smith (Let’s Stay Together), Mark Snow (Blue Bloods, Elementary), Curtis Stigers (Sons of Anarchy), Barry Stone (American Idol), Ron Sures (Rookie Blue), Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy), Carl Thiel (Last Man Standing), Bob Thiele (Sons of Anarchy), Paul Thomas (When Calls the Heart), David Vanacore (Big Brother, Survivor: Cagayan & San Juan Del Sur, Undercover Boss), Ron Wasserman (Kirstie), Erica Weis (The Crazy Ones), Nathan Whitehead (The Last Ship), Mark T. Williams (Masterchef, Shark Tank, The Biggest Loser), James Wright (Let’s Stay Together)and Marcelo Zarvos (Extant).

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 585,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.


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