OSCARS: Academy Hears The Sound Of Music At History-Making Nominees Concert

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 9:30am PST
Pete Hammond

You have to hand it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Just as it is in the heat of putting on South Bay Cities-20140228-00232a little TV awards show over at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night, the group still found time to stage the first-ever “Oscar Concert” on Thursday night at UCLA’s Royce Hall — and turn out in force. This ambitious show, which featured suites conducted by all the nominated composers for Best Original Music Score as well as performances of the four Oscar-nominated songs, was put into the works and approved by the Board of Governors last year, according to former president Hawk Koch, one of last night’s attendees. But as Academy Music Branch governors Arthur Hamilton and Charles Fox put it, most of this was cobbled together in the six weeks since the nominees were named. All the top Academy brass were there humming along, including president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson along with numerous members, particularly from the music branch.

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It was quite a logistical challenge pulling the event off, which I am told by reliable sources cost in the neighborhood of half a million dollars to produce. And it may be sparking a trend: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plans to do its own concert at Royce Hall on May 21st featuring composers of new and classic TV scores. But I’m afraid Oscar has set this bar pretty high with a program that ranks as one of the highlights of the entire awards season, a classy event that saw tickets going to the general public for up to $100 each and discounted tickets for Academy members at $75 for orchestra seats. Box office was sweet as the place was packed. Read More »

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OSCARS: From ‘Philomena’ To ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, Composers Show Creativity And Agility With This Year’s Scores

David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.

This year’s bevy of awards contender films is not only uncharacteristically large but also varied, particAwardsLine.LogoBWularly in how they were scored. The lack of similarity is apparent in everything from genre to instrumentation and even transcends musical matters, touching on the very core of the process. Specifically, when the composer is handpicked to buttress feelings and emotions primarily expressed in visual terms, what is his or working relationship with the director? Several prominent composers spoke about that intimate union, which in some cases was a new collaboration and in others a welcome reteaming.

Philomena (1)Alexandre Desplat first worked with Stephen Frears on The Queen in 2006 and gratefully accepted the director’s offer to work on this year’s Philomena, a bittersweet road movie starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. “The story is intimate and deeply moving, and Stephen thought I could emphasize that,” Desplat says. “The story is such that it’s difficult not to be in tears: This little woman who seems to be lost but is actually ahead of everyone. It was so appealing to me. I came out with the main theme rather quickly.”

Related: ‘Philomena’: Could It Be This Year’s Oscar Sleeper?
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Fox Rechristens Its Music Building In Honor Of Composer Lionel Newman

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 8:22pm PST

Steven Spielberg, John Williams and Jim Gianopulos were among the big names attending the dedication of the Lionel Newman Music Building. The building on the Fox lot in Century City has been renamed in honor … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Star Wars’ No. 1 Film Soundtrack Among Britons, Poll Finds; Gillian Anderson Set For ‘Streetcar’ At Young Vic

By | Friday September 27, 2013 @ 10:00pm PDT

BBC Radio 3 Poll: ‘Star Wars’ Still A Force Among Soundtracks
A poll of BBC Radio 3 listeners has concluded that John WilliamsStar Wars soundtrack is the all-time No. 1 among Britons. Williams’ 1977 score received almost 25% of votes on a list that spans 64 years of … Read More »

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John Williams Confirmed For ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ As Disney Heads To Germany With ‘Star Wars’

By | Saturday July 27, 2013 @ 9:26am PDT

Disney brass thinks Star Wars is so important they went to Germany of all places this weekend for Star Wars Celebration, the global Star Wars fan convention that began in 1999 to celebrate the release … Read More »

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