May 21, 2009
David Newman Honored by BMI
Mike Post also feted at annual film/TV music awards dinner by Jon Burlingame
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—David Newman received the Richard Kirk Award, the highest honor for a film composer given by Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) at its annual film and television music awards dinner Wednesday night, May 20, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Newman, Oscar-nominated composer of such scores as Anastasia, Ice Age, Hoffa, War of the Roses, Serenity and nearly 100 others, accepted with a brief but heartfelt speech in which he described himself as "a rank-and-file musician" who had begun playing in orchestras as a child and continued to do so as an adult long before he became a composer in the mid-1980s.
He spoke of his passion for the American Youth Symphony, a pre-professional orchestra that he once played in and which he now heads as president, encouraging young musicians to pursue their dreams.
A video tribute to Newman featured such past collaborators as Hoffa director Danny DeVito (who said Newman's music "brought so much to the movie... lifted it up and put a foundation under it"), Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot (who said Newman's mind "goes in a million directions at once... I think if he calmed down for a minute he'd explode"), Brave Little Toaster producers Tom Wilhoit and Willard Carroll, Galaxy Quest star Tim Allen and Newman's songwriter-composer cousin Randy Newman.
BMI President and CEO Del Bryant praised Newman for his "remarkable facility for finding the emotional center of a movie and translating it into the language of music... and his selfless dedication to the next generation of musicians."
Veteran television composer Mike Post (NYPD Blue, Law & Order) was presented with BMI's Classic Contribution Award for his 20-year commitment to the Pete Carpenter Fellowship, an annual program in which a young composer gets to spend several weeks with Post, observing and participating in the process of composing for TV.
The BMI-supported fellowship is named in memory of Post's longtime partner on such classic TV themes and scores as The Rockford Files, Magnum P.I., The A-Team and Riptide. They worked together for 18 years and produced music for 2,000 hours of TV. "He was one of the finest people I ever met in my life," Post said. "If he were here I'd still have a partner."
Among film composers present to receive awards were Tyler Bates (Watchmen), Randy Edelman (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor), Cliff Eidelman (He's Just Not That Into You), Harry Gregson-Williams (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), Andrew Lockington (Journey to the Center of the Earth), John Ottman (Valkyrie), Trevor Rabin (Get Smart), Theodore Shapiro (Marley & Me, Tropic Thunder), Lyle Workman (Yes Man), Alex Wurman (Four Christmases) and Aaron Zigman (Sex and the City, Madea Goes to Jail).
More than three dozen television composers also received awards. Among them were Kevin Kiner (CSI: Miami), Bill Brown (CSI: NY), David Russo (Eleventh Hour), James Collins and Doug DeAngelis (Lie to Me), Brian Kirk (NCIS), Charlie Clouser (Numb3rs), Tim Bright (Private Practice), Jan Stevens (Samantha Who?), Richard Marvin (Without a Trace), Tree Adams (Californication), James Levine (The Closer), Rolfe Kent and Daniel Licht (Dexter), Nathan Barr and Jace Everett (True Blood). Receiving a special award for his iconic "HBO Movie Theme" was composer Ferdinand Jay Smith.
Vice president of film and TV relations Doreen Ringer Ross said that BMI currently represents music in 75 percent of all prime-time network series.
©2009 Jon Burlingame