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September 15, 2011
Mildred Pierce, Borgias Among Music Emmy Winners
PBS shows, SNL—Timberlake song also win by Jon Burlingame

LOS ANGELES—Mildred Pierce, The Borgias and a documentary about environmentalist John Muir won top music honors at Saturday's Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre.

Carter Burwell, longtime composer for filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (on such famous films as The Big Lebowski and True Grit), won his first major industry award for the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. He won in the category of Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) for Part V, the most emotional of the five-part mini.

Intimate and chamber-like, the score was conceived for just 11 musicians: string quartet, various solo woodwinds including flute and clarinet, harp and piano. Burwell could not attend the ceremonies, as he was in London working on the score for the next Twilight film.

Trevor Morris

Trevor Morris
AP Photo / Chris Pizzello

Trevor Morris, composer for such period cable series as The Tudors and The Pillars of the Earth, won for Original Main Title Theme Music for Showtime's The Borgias. Morris – who won in the same category four years ago for The Tudors – has an uncanny ability to combine period sounds with a propulsive contemporary approach, and for The Borgias added a choir singing in Latin.

Garth Neustadter

Garth Neustadter

The Emmy for Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) went to first-time nominee Garth Neustadter for his music for the American Masters documentary John Muir in the New World, which aired on PBS April 18. Neustadter's Americana score varied from chamber ensemble to large orchestra, always evoking the beauty of nature and the reverence that preservationist Muir felt for the American landscape.

Harry Connick Jr. won his second Emmy, for Music Direction, for his Great Performances special Harry Connick Jr., in Concert on Broadway, which aired on PBS March 2. Connick won his earlier Emmy seven years ago for another Great Performances special, "Only You" in Concert.

A Saturday Night Live team won the Original Music and Lyrics category, for the "Justin Timberlake Monologue" song from the May 21 episode ("I'm not gonna sing tonight"); composer Katreese Barnes and lyricists Seth Myers, John Mulaney and Justin Timberlake shared the Emmy. Timberlake and Barnes won a previous music Emmy in 2007 for the infamous SNL "Dick in a Box" song. Timberlake received another Emmy as SNL host on Saturday (his fourth overall, all for SNL).

The Creative Arts Emmys will be telecast at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on Friday, Sept. 17, on the REELZ channel.

©2011 Jon Burlingame
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