Michael Giacchino took Film Composer of the Year, while Antonio Sanchez took Film Score of the Year for Birdman.
Sitting alongside the 42nd annual Gent Film Festival in Belgium (October 13-24), the 15th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards doled out its musical honours with a coinciding orchestral concert featuring the works of leading composers Alan Silvestri, Patrick Doyle and Daniel Pemberton.
Michael Giacchino was awarded with top honours as Film Composer of the Year for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Inside Out and Jurassic World. He was previously the World Soundtrack Award’s Discovery of the Year in 2005 for his work on The Incredibles.
Antonio Sanchez was also a big winner, beating out Bruno Calais (Song Of The Sea), Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game), Hans Zimmer (Interstellar) and Johann Johansson (The Theory Of Everything) for Best Original Film Score of the Year (Birdman).
Sanchez also nabbed the Discovery of the Year Award.
“I remember when Alejandro [Gonzalez Inarritu] called me and quickly said, ‘I’m working on a dark comedy and I need a drums score. Can you do it? Okay, great. Bye.’ I hung up and thought, ‘What did I get myself into?’”
“I’m just a jazz guy - we have one award [the Grammy]. So it’s cool to see drums finally getting recognised in the film industry,” continued Sanchez.
John Paesano’s score for The Maze Runner took the Public Choice Award, winning over Amine Bouhafa’sTimbuktu, Warren Ellis and Nick Cave’s hypnotic score for Far From Men, Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow’s intensive sound compilation for Ex Machina and Peter Gregson’s compositions for Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos.
Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film was awarded to Gustavo Santaolalla and Paul Williams for The Book Of Life’s ‘The Apology Song’.
The Sabam Award for Best Young Composer was given to Peer Kleinschmidt for his imaginative new score to Carol Reed’s British drama The Third Man. Beating out 60 other participants, Kleinschmidt took home €2,500 in prize money and his score, alongside finalists Maxime Herve and Roman Falkenstein, was played live during the awards ceremony.
Voting is conducted by industry professionals through the end of August, and the public are able to cast their votes for The Public Choice Award until early September.
Celebrating British cinema
The 15th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards, which took place October 22-24, placed a focus on British cinema and its composers - featuring live music and seminars from Craig Armstrong (Far From The Madding Crowd, Snowden), Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare In Love), Michael Nyman (The End Of The Affair) and George Fenton (Dangerous Liaisons).
“In past years, we have focused on countries such as France and Italy, where cinema is clearly defined. As a great cinema lover, I wanted to focus this year’s programme on Britain’s diverse offerings, some films clearly known to cinema audiences and many less so,” explained Artistic Director Patrick Duynslaegher.
“We carefully programme the film and music sides of the festival so that many of the films’ composers and directors in the film festival can also be a part of the music’s industry and concert events,” continued Duynslaegher. “We are a unique festival in this way.”
The night saw both tears and joy as conductor Dirk Brosse directed the Brussels Philharmonic and Flemish Radio Choir in performances of Silvestri’s scores for Forrest Gump, The Polar Express and The Walk.
Known for his collaborations with Robert Zemeckis, Silvestri was honoured as guest composer and conductor, tie-ing in with Back To The Future’s October 21 anniversary date when Marty, Jennifer and Einstein travelled to the future.
“30 years ago I was 35 [years old], now I’m 45,” joked Silvestri.
“I’m still learning everyday, and I know I have a few more ‘notes’ in me,” he added, referencing his upcoming work on Zemeckis’ untitled World War II romantic drama.
Scottish composer Patrick Doyle was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award, accompanied by a thrilling live score with video clips to Cinderella’s ‘Pumpkin Pursuit’ and the Grand Central Station chase scene with Al Pacino in Carlito’s Way.
“All the awards - the Bafta, the Oscar, the Grammy - are nice, but the important thing is to leave a footprint in people’s hearts and minds today, tomorrow and forever,” said Doyle.
Duynslaegher added, “Since our focus is on British cinema, Patrick Doyle was the ideal candidate to be granted the Lifetime Achievement Award. Anyone who remembers hearing Doyle’s score for Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V in 1989 knew back then a great composer was born.”
Last year’s Discovery of the Year winner - London-based Daniel Pemberton - was also recognised for his recent work on Ridley Scott’s The Counselor and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs - to which the dizzying operatic track ‘The Circus of Machines’ was played live as a world premiere.
Performed at the stunning Bijloke, the ‘Great British Film Music’ concert provided an anthology of both classical and contemporary composers who have made a substantial contribution to British cinema.
Ranging across all genres - from William Walton (Richard III) and John Barry (The Last Valley, The Ipcress File) to Craig Armstrong (Far From The Madding Crowd), George Fenton (Land And Freedom) and Patrick Doyle (Much Ado About Nothing), British artists were celebrated with help from composer Dirk Brosse, concertmaster Henry Raudales and the bellowing sounds of the Brussels Philharmonic.
Alex Heffe’s score to Stephen Frears’ cycling drama The Program was also premiered.
Rounding out the night, Fenton was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award for an acclaimed career that has earned him Oscar nominations for Gandhi, Dangerous Liaisons, The Fisher King and Cry Freedom.
Industry events consisted of panel discussions about performing and publishing rights across the United States and Europe; scoring for studio and independent films; and the relationship between composers and directors.