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December 23, 2013
Composers Randy Newman, Bill Conti, Alan Silvestri Tributed
Society of Composers and Lyricists recognizes career achievements at annual gala by Jon Burlingame
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.
Many current Golden Globe nominees and Oscar-music hopefuls also attended, including singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (a current Globe nominee for her song "Sweeter Than Fiction" from the film One Chance).
Current SCL president Ashley Irwin announced that the Hall of Fame honors, launched in 2002, would be reinstated next year, with the late Jerry Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein to be added to the roster.
In announcing this year's top honors (a Lifetime Achievement Award to Conti, Ambassador Awards to Newman and Silvestri), Irwin said they were "all unabashed melodists whose themes have stood the test of time" and whose "bold thematic soundtracks" remained in the minds of moviegoers long after they had left the movie theaters.
Two-time Oscar winner Newman could not attend as he is recuperating from knee surgery. A film tribute included clips from many of his famous films including The Natural, Parenthood, Toy Story and Monsters Inc. His son Amos Newman, who represents composers at the WME agency, accepted the award.
Silvestri, Irwin said, had scored "some of cinema's all-time classics," as demonstrated in clips that included Back to the Future and Forrest Gump. His songwriting partner Glen Ballard introduced vocal duo Patrick Droney and Julia Harriman to perform "Shine Your Way" from this year's animated hit The Croods.
Irwin talked about his long professional relationship with Conti, dating back to an Australian recording date in 1984. SCL board member Charles Bernstein also reminisced about sharing classes with Conti many years ago at New York's Juilliard School of Music.
Clips illustrated the breadth of the Oscar- and Emmy-winning composer's film and TV career, including Rocky, The Right Stuff, The Karate Kid, Dynasty, Cagney & Lacey and North and South. Conti went to the piano and regaled the crowd with funny stories from his career, including the origins of the Rocky and Dynasty themes and the behind-the-scenes tale of writing the Bond song "For Your Eyes Only."
Ron Grant designed the new Lifetime Achievement trophy. SCL executive director Laura Dunn and The Score editor Lori Barth were in charge of the dinner, for which Stephanie Bennett played harp.
©2013 Jon Burlingame
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