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Last Updated: March 24, 2014

In Person: Narnia, Shrek composer Harry Gregson-Williams
Sundance Institute presents workshop series on film scoring by Jon Burlingame

Harry Gregson-Williams

Harry Gregson-Williams

LOS ANGELES—The Sundance Institute is sponsoring a pair of presentations at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, one of which is designed to demystify the film composer's process, the other of which is aimed at the emerging composer in Hollywood.

The first, called "ComposersLab: LA On Stage" and slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, will feature well-known composer Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven) talking about the film-scoring process and demonstrating how he scores a film scene.
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Oscar Music Scores The Power of Gravity
Sensation "Let It Go" is Frozen in Hollywood song history by Jon Burlingame

HOLLYWOOD—Gravity and Frozen took top musical honors at the 86th annual Academy Awards Sunday night, concluding a music-filled weekend of Oscar festivities in Westwood, Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

Steven Price

Steven Price
Photo courtesy Academy Motion Pictures
Arts and Sciences

Both wins had been widely predicted. Gravity composer Steven Price won for Best Original Score, and Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez won Best Song for their "Let It Go" from Disney's animated Frozen.

The Oscars marked a return to tradition in that all four nominated songs were sung by the original performers: Pharrell Williams (with trademark hat) opened with a lively, infectious "Happy" (from Despicable Me 2) backed by a chorus of street dancers; Karen O performed her delicate, touching "Moon Song" (from Her), accompanied on guitar by Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig; and U2 earned a standing ovation for their "Ordinary Love" (from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom).
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Steven Price's Immersive Music for Gravity
British composer's score sends career into Oscar orbit by Jon Burlingame

Steven Price

LOS ANGELES—Alfonso Cuaron, the director of Gravity, told composer Steven Price he didn't want a conventional score for his high-tech thriller about astronauts struggling to survive a disaster in space.
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Desplat on Desplat
Oscar-nom'd Philomena composer talks shop about film scoring by Jon Burlingame

Alexandre Desplat, pianist Randy Kerber, and SCL President Ashley Irwin review excerpts from Desplat's scores. (Photo by Marilee Bradford)

Alexandre Desplat, pianist Randy Kerber, and SCL President Ashley Irwin review excerpts from Desplat's scores.
Photo by Marilee Bradford

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Alexandre Desplat, currently Oscar-nominated for his music for Philomena, gave an informative and musically illustrated talk about his work before an invited crowd of 60 Sunday afternoon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
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Film Composers Achieve Olympic Victory
Tiomkin music to be featured in Sochi closing ceremony by Jon Burlingame

Leo Arnaud (right) confers with colleague Stanley Wilson

Leo Arnaud (right) confers with colleague Stanley Wilson

HOLLYWOOD—Ever wonder about the origins of that famous fanfare that has been used for so many years as the opening theme for television's Olympics coverage?

The solemn piece for brass and percussion is the work of a French-born composer-arranger named Leo Arnaud (1904-1991) and its selection as television's best-known "Olympic theme" was something of a fluke.
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Kojak Composer John Cacavas Dead at 83
Emmy-nom'd scorer's numerous film and TV credits include Airport 1975, Hawaii Five-O, Columbo by Jon Burlingame

John Cacavas

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—John Cacavas, the composer of scores for Airport 1975 and many episodes of TV's Kojak, died Tuesday after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

Cacavas was a fixture on the film and TV scene throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and then he was also a major contributor to music in the school field, publishing more than 2,000 works for symphonic band, orchestra, chorus and chamber ensemble.

His first major feature credit was Horror Express (1972), although he catapulted to prominence with the disaster movies Airport 1975 (1974) and Airport '77 (1977). His longtime friendship with actor Telly Savalas led to a long tenure on the Kojak series (1973-78), including the series theme for its fifth and final season on CBS.
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86th Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced
John Williams continues his streak with a 49th nom by Marilee Bradford

John Williams

John Williams

BEVERLY HILLS, California—John Williams once again bettered his own standing as the most nominated composer in Hollywood history when the 86th annual Oscar nominations were announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Williams, 81, earned his 49th nomination for his touching score to The Book Thief, the story of a foster child's survival during the height of Nazi Germany. Two years ago, Williams surpassed Alfred Newman (whose record of 45 had stood for more than 40 years) as the most nominated composer, with his scores for The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, followed last year by his nomination for Lincoln.
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Classic Film Scores: The Best of 2013
Releases include Mancini, Grusin, Legrand, Goldsmith, Fielding by Jon Burlingame

Breakfast at Tiffany\'s

The past year saw another bounty of classic music from films and television, lovingly restored and made available to fans, in many cases for the first time. Some of our favorites:

Breakfast at Tiffany's and Days of Wine and Roses (Intrada)
Two of Henry Mancini's most indelible scores for Blake Edwards' 1961 and 1962 dramas – both of them Oscar winners – can now be heard in their entirety at last (Mancini's original LP and single were easy-listening versions). Audrey Hepburn's own iconic vocal of "Moon River" sounds better than ever.
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Composers Randy Newman, Bill Conti, Alan Silvestri Tributed
Society of Composers and Lyricists recognizes career achievements at annual gala by Jon Burlingame

Alan Silvestri and Bill Conti

Alan Silvestri and Bill Conti
Courtesy of the SCL

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif.—Composers Randy Newman, Alan Silvestri and Bill Conti were honored at the holiday dinner of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, Wednesday night, Dec. 18, at the Riviera Country Club.

Approximately 240 members of the Hollywood music community attended the 25th annual event, which also included awards to composer Sharon Farber (as this year's "Emerging Composer") and past SCL president Dan Foliart (for his decade-long tenure and revitalization of the organization). Jonathon Schans was named Volunteer of the Year.
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20th Century Fox Honors Lionel Newman
Studio dedicates music building to composer's memory by Jon Burlingame

Lionel Newman

Lionel Newman

CENTURY CITY, Calif.—The Fox Music Building was formally renamed The Lionel Newman Music Building Thursday afternoon in a dedication ceremony attended by an estimated 300 friends and colleagues on the 20th Century-Fox lot.

Lionel Newman headed the studio music department for 22 years beginning in 1963, and was one of the most colorful musicians in Hollywood history. He began at Fox in 1943 as a rehearsal pianist (working under his older brother Alfred Newman) and went on to compose, conduct or supervise more than 250 scores until his retirement from Fox in 1985.
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UK's John Wilson Orchestra Makes Tinseltown Premiere
Seth MacFarlane sponsors concert celebrating MGM musicals by Jon Burlingame

John Wilson Conducting

WESTWOOD, Calif.—British audiences have known for years that John Wilson is a superb conductor and dedicated presenter of classic film music. A thousand Americans finally got the chance to hear, live and in person, what they've been talking about.
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"Music from Hollywood" 50th Anniversary
A look back at the greatest film music concert of all time by Jon Burlingame

Vintage Bowl Poster - 1963

The greatest film music concert in history was staged at the Hollywood Bowl 50 years ago, on Sept. 25, 1963.

Every important composer then working in Hollywood was there, and nearly all of them conducted their own music before an admiring crowd. It was called "Music From Hollywood," and it was sponsored by the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America (CLGA), the only union that film and television composers ever had, and one that does not exist today.

It was hosted by John Green, the longtime music director of MGM and veteran Bowl conductor. The special guests were popular singer Andy Williams, famed gospel headliner Mahalia Jackson, and comedian-violinist Jack Benny.
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Lunn, Danna, McCreary Win Music Emmys
Tony Awards also nab honors by Jon Burlingame

Composer Bear McCreary

LOS ANGELES—Music from Downton Abbey, World Without End, Da Vinci's Demons and the 66th Annual Tony Awards was honored at the annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards at LA Live's Nokia Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 15.

Composer John Lunn, who flew in from England, collected his second consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series, for the finale of Season 3 of Downton Abbey on PBS's Masterpiece.

Canadian-born composer Mychael Danna – who won the Oscar earlier this year for his music for Life of Pi – won his first Emmy in the category of Outstanding Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special, for the Ken Follett miniseries World Without End, which aired on the Reelz Channel.
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The Big Picture: A Night At the Oscars
David Newman conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra by Marilee Bradford

HOLLYWOOD—Nearly 11,000 watched, listened and cheered as David Newman conducted "The Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars" – a two-and-a-half-hour concert of great film music – Sunday night, Sept. 1, at the Hollywood Bowl.
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Jerome Moross Centennial
Innovative composer for film, theater, concert hall remembered by Jon Burlingame

Young Moross

American composer Jerome Moross would have turned 100 years old this week.

Moross forever changed the sound of Western movies with his classic, Oscar-nominated score for The Big Country in 1958. But he was also an innovator in the musical theater, in ballet and in other musical realms. His Broadway show The Golden Apple was a landmark achievement combining opera with musical comedy; and he consistently surprised critics and audiences alike with his fresh approaches in the worlds of chamber and symphonic music as well.
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Frank Comstock Dead at 90
Adam-12, Rocky and Bullwinkle composer had diverse and notable career in film, TV, big band by Jon Burlingame

Frank Comstock

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.—Frank Comstock, Emmy-nominated composer for TV shows including Adam-12 and Rocky and His Friends, and arranger for big bands and such vocalists as Doris Day and the Hi-Los, died on May 21. He was 90.

Comstock was among the last of the great swing-band arrangers who later found work in the film and television studios and went on to compose memorable, iconic themes familiar to generations of Americans.
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Both Vets, First-Timers Earn Emmy Music Noms
Nathan W. Barr, Jeff Beal are double-nominees by Jon Burlingame

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—A mixed crowd of veterans and newcomers celebrated their nominations in the five music categories Thursday as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced nominations for the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards for the 2012-2013 TV season.

Veteran music director Ian Fraser received his 32nd nomination in the music-direction category for TNT's annual Christmas in Washington special. He is the most-nominated musician in television history and the most honored, with 11 Emmy statues.

Nathan W. Barr (best-known for his music for HBO's True Blood) was not only nominated for the first time this year, he was a double nominee in the Main Title Theme category for his themes for FX's spy drama The Americans and Netflix's thriller series Hemlock Grove.

This year's other double nominee, Jeff Beal, was honored for his theme for, and the underscore for the first episode of, the much talked-about Netflix series House of Cards. Beal already has four Emmys, three for primetime programs and one in the documentary field.
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Alexander the Great and Other Rare Rosenman
Combat!, Alexander the Great, Sybil among rescued TV recordings

Rare Rosenman CD

Academy Award- and Emmy-winning Leonard Rosenman (1924-2008) – celebrated composer of East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Fantastic Voyage and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – also wrote music for other media.

The Film Music Society, the entertainment industry-based preservation group, has recently rescued and restored some of Rosenman's music from four historic television productions and a theme park attraction, and is releasing these archival recordings on a 76-minute CD called Alexander the Great and Other Rare Rosenman.
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Index for The Cue Sheet Journal
Quarterly publication is a well-established source of film music articles, news and historical information

A comprehensive index for The Cue Sheet, the quarterly journal of The Film Music Society, is now available on-line at the FMS web site.

From its initial publication as a multi-page mimeograph in January 1984, The Cue Sheet has grown to be among the most highly respected sources for articles and essays on the subject of film and television music.

The journal's content ranges from biographical essays and in-memoriam tributes to articles on contemporary issues, opinion pieces and book reviews, featuring the works of such notable journalists and historians as Fred Steiner, James Lipton, John Caps, Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer, Clifford McCarty, Jon Burlingame, Steven Smith and Ross Care, among others.
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Music and the Moving Image
UIP, NYU and FMS combine efforts for premiere on-line scholarly journal

The University of Illinois Press, in conjunction with New York University Steinhardt School's Department of Music & Performing Arts Professions and The Film Music Society, has published Music and the Moving Image, a premiere online scholarly journal dedicated to the relationship between music and the wide spectrum of moving images, from film and television to computer and interactive performance.

Music and the Moving Image will be issued three times annually (spring, summer, fall). Volume 1 (Spring 2008) will receive its inaugural launch on February 29 at http://mmi.press.uiuc.edu/.

Leading an impressive editorial board of educators and music professionals, executive editors conductor/musicologist Gillian B. Anderson and Director of the Film Music program at NYU/Steinhardt Ronald H. Sadoff will consider submissions from both scholars and practitioners. All papers will be accepted for inclusion in the journal based upon a peer-review process. Although the journal will be published in English, international diversity is encouraged. Visit Call for Papers/Submission Guidelines for more information.

Annual individual subscriptions are available for $30 (a special Film Music Society membership rate is $21), and the institutional rate is $60. An order form is available HERE or through the journal web site.

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The Timeless Melodies of David Raksin
Rare sheet music folio now available through The Film Music Society

The Timeless Melodies of David RaksinHad David Raksin written nothing but the immortal "Laura," it would have been measure enough of his incomparable talent for melody and harmony.

But the composer of scores for such Hollywood classics as Forever Amber, The Bad and the Beautiful and Separate Tables had also written a treasure trove of songs. He shared his favorites in a collection called The Timeless Melodies of David Raksin.

Originally published by Ekay Music in 1996, this extraordinary 112-page, 9" x 12" collection of sheet music has long been out of print and hard to find.

A number of years ago, Raksin donated a few copies of this songbook to The Film Music Society for fundraising, and we are happy to offer them for purchase while the supply lasts.
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Rózsa's Jungle Book Available in Short Supply!
FMS releases rare score in celebration of the composer's centenary

Rózsa's Jungle Book

Track 21: Excerpt from a June 1, 1974 interview with Miklós Rózsa conducted by Rudy Behlmer, discussing Rózsa's score for Jungle Book.

In celebration of Miklós Rózsa's centennial year, The Film Music Society is proud to re-release Rózsa's historic score for the 1942 classic motion picture, Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Nearly two years ago, this popular CD was sold out of its Limited Edition release, and the FMS archived the manufacturer's overage. Due to popular demand by members and nonmembers alike, we decided to celebrate Rozsa's centenary by making our surplus copies available for purchase.

Rózsa's music shines on this CD in a way it never has before. Featuring lengthy and authoritative liner notes by Golden Age film expert Rudy Behlmer, this is an album you won't want to miss, skillfully restored and remastered from the last surviving transcription discs. As a bonus track, we've included an excerpt of a rare interview with Rózsa discussing his score with Behlmer in 1974.
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Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat with Bernard Herrmann
FMS restores recording of never-before-released 1970 interview

Herrmann's "Conversations"
Film music preservation is not just about saving music manuscripts and recordings. It's also about saving the artform's history through writings, photographs and, in rare opportunites, the spoken word.

The Film Music Society is pleased to present its newest CD release, Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat With Bernard Herrmann.

On September 26, 1970, Leslie Zador (the son of orchestrator Eugene Zador) and Gregory Rose from classical radio station KFAC interviewed Herrmann in his North Hollywood home on behalf of the Los Angeles Free Press. The interview was transcribed and an article appeared in the Free Press about a month later. Soon after, the sole recording of the interview was stowed away for more than 35 years.

Excerpts of the original transcript were published in the Society's anthology Film Music 1 (1989). The audio tape was recently retrieved and generously donated by Zador to the FMS for historic preservation. Now, with permission from the interviewers and Herrmann's wife Norma Shepherd, this newly restored recording of one of Hollywood's most revered composers will soon be available on CD in its entirety (with the exception of a few imprudent remarks).
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The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri TiomkinThe World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin now available!

Tracks Include:

Click select links to hear sample audio tracks.

1. 1M1/1M2 2:29
2. 1M3 :51
3. 1M5 2:30
4. 1M8 (outtake) 1:05
5. 3M1 (outtake) 1:02
6. 3M3/3M4 1:34
7. 3M7 (partial outtake) 1:45
8. 8M5 (partial outtake) 2:45

9. M11 (partial outtake) 2:28
10. M12 1:54
11. M13 (partial outtake) 1:48
12. M14 (outtake) :41
13. M21 (partial outtake) 2:25
14. M22 (partial outtake) 1:41
15. M24 2:08
16. M42 2:11
17. M43 (outtake) 2:04
18. M50 3:39
19. M52 2:43

20. 1M1/1M2 1:32
21. 1M3 (outtake) :28
22. 1M4 (partial outtake) :32
23. 2M1 1:33
24. 2M2/2M2A/2M2AA 1:38
25. 3M7 (outtake) :38
26. 3M10A :28
27. 4M5 1:01
28. 4M6 3:09
29. 5M2 1:35
30. 5M3 1:23

31. 1M1 1:28
32. 1M2/1M3 1:19
33. 1M4 1:11
34. 1M6 :34
35. 1M8 :39
36. 2M1 1:52
37. 2M4/2M6 (partial outtake) :53
38. 2M8/2M8A (alt. Version) :38
39. 3M1 2:50
40. 3M3 1:07
41. 4M2 (partial outtake) 2:09
42. 5M1 (outtake) 1:58
43. 5M3 1:43
44. 5M4/5M5 1:25
45. 6M1 (outtake) 1:48
46. 9M1/9M2 1:44
47. 9M3/9AM1/9AM2 3:18

The Film Music Society is pleased to offer previously unreleased recordings of eminent film composer Dimitri Tiomkin's scores from four historically significant World War II documentary features.

The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin includes nearly 79 minutes of Tiomkin's music from the Army orientation films of producer Frank Capra – The Battle of Russia (1943), Tunisian Victory (1944), The Negro Soldier (1944) and San Pietro (1945) – ranging in style from inspiring military marches to themes that underpin the despair of war, from American gospel and jazz to traditional Russian folk melodies, from the modern beat of the big band to the classical strains of Tschaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

The recordings in this collection originated from 16-inch acetate transcription discs owned by Tiomkin, which were transferred to 1/4-inch magnetic tape in the mid-1980s by innovative recording engineer Bob Auger. The tapes remained in the possession of Tiomkin's wife Olivia until earlier this year when they were transferred to digital format for restoration and inclusion on this CD.

Accompanying these recordings is a deluxe 16-page booklet containing never-before-seen photographs and authoritative liner notes by Tiomkin expert Warren Sherk.

The Cue Sheet, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct. 2005) The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin is a Limited Edition, with only 1,000 copies manufactured. It is available to the public for $20 plus s/h. If you would like to order your copy, please contact us or visit the Merchandise page for more information. But hurry! Stock is running low. The FMS quarterly journal, The Cue Sheet, Vol. 20, No. 4 (October 2005), features an extended version of Warren Sherk's informative liner notes for this important restoration. The issue is available for $7.50 plus s/h, or $6 if purchased with the CD.

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Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat with Bernard Herrmann CD

The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin CD

Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book soundtrack CD

SPFM Takemitsu Tribute CD – SOLD OUT

SPFM Goldsmith Tribute CD

Music from CBS Westerns CD




Elmer Bernstein's Film Music Notebook


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The periodic newsletter, previously sent by US mail exclusively to FMS members, is now right here on the News & Events page of this website. Each Friday, this online version of the newsletter provides the latest industry information; membership announcements; upcoming events; newsworthy articles; and an occasional series we call Da Capo, offering historical articles related to film and TV music.

Freelance submissions: Newsworthy information and film/TV music-related articles may be submitted for consideration to editor@filmmusicsociety.org. The FMS is under no obligation to publish and/or otherwise utilize submissions or any portions thereof. The FMS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, supported solely by private donations. No remuneration is available for submissions.

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John Williams betters his own standing with 48th nom

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Celebrated British composer, arranger, performer leaves historic legacy

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