December 16, 2016
Thomas Newman, Diane Warren Honored as SCL Ambassadors
Composers Poledouris, Rose added to Hall of Fame by Jon Burlingame
LOS ANGELES—Composer Thomas Newman and songwriter Diane Warren were honored for their career achievements at Wednesday night's holiday dinner of the Society of Composers & Lyricists at the Skirball Cultural Center.
More than 300 members of the L.A. music community attended. SCL president Ashley Irwin named both as SCL Ambassadors, noting that their combined total of Oscar nominations was, so far, 21 (eight for Warren and 13 for Newman) without a win and that "there's something really wrong with that."
Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) and veteran songwriter Mike Stoller paid tribute to Warren, whose popular film songs include "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," "Because You Loved Me," "How Do I Live," "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," "Music of My Heart" and "There You'll Be."
Warren admitted that "I like to be behind a piano and not in front of people" – performed her Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated song "Til It Happens to You" from last year's documentary The Hunting Ground. "That song," Hardwicke (who directed the music video starring Lady Gaga) said, "has changed lives."
Honoring Newman were BMI CEO Mike O'Neill (who called him "one of the preeminent composers of our generation") and director Davis Guggenheim (He Named Me Malala), who said he heard "love, pain, longing, forgiveness, grace and tenderness" in Newman's scores. "Your music is a gift to the world," Guggenheim told the composer.
A montage of Newman's work was shown, including clips from American Beauty, The Player, Bridge of Spies, WALL-E, The Help, The Shawshank Redemption, Scent of a Woman, Skyfall, Finding Nemo and the miniseries Angels in America. Newman paid tribute to his many music teachers in his thoughtful acceptance speech.
Also during the hour-long program, Irwin announced that the late composers Basil Poledouris (Conan the Barbarian, Lonesome Dove) and David Rose (Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie) were being added to the SCL Hall of Fame.
Also honored were past president James DiPasquale (The Shell Seekers), who was named an honorary lifetime member; and two other SCL mainstays: past president Ray Colcord (Boy Meets World), who died in February, and longtime board member Ron Grant (Knots Landing), who died in October.
Fellow past presidents Bruce Broughton and Dan Foliart sent video tributes praising DiPasquale and Colcord, respectively; and Irwin praised Grant for his "generosity, selflessness and love for the community." Among those in attendance was Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake.
©2016 Jon Burlingame