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Last Updated: December 28, 2016


Classic Film Music on Disc: The Best of 2016
Ellington, North, Goldsmith, Rorem, Schickele among top recordings by Jon Burlingame

For fans of classic movie and TV music, 2016 boasted a number of happy surprises: not just re-releases but also re-recordings and premier releases of scores by great composers of the past and present. Among our favorites of the past 12 months, listed alphabetically:
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Why the Arrival Score was Disqualified
Composers Johannsson, Richter explain what happened by Jon Burlingame


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' disqualification of Johann Johannsson's score for Arrival has rekindled the controversy within the music community about the use of pre-existing music and how it can affect a film's chances at awards time.
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Thomas Newman, Diane Warren Honored as SCL Ambassadors
Composers Poledouris, Rose added to Hall of Fame by Jon Burlingame

SCL Prsident Ashley Irwin with Thomas Newman

SCL Prsident Ashley Irwin with Thomas Newman Photo by Jacky Sallow

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.
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William Ross, Alf Clausen honored by ASMAC
Veteran composer-arrangers receive Golden Score Awards by Jon Burlingame

William Ross and John Williams

William Ross and John Williams

LOS ANGELES—Emmy-winning composer-arrangers William Ross and Alf Clausen were honored with Golden Score Awards by the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC) Sunday night at the Skirball Cultural Center.

More than 300 members of L.A.'s musical community turned out for the annual event, which was hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin.
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Back to the Future Live-to-Picture
David Newman conducts the American Youth Symphony by Phil Grayson

AYS - Back to the Future

On Saturday, November 12 at 7:30pm in UCLA's distinguished Royce Hall, the American Youth Symphony (AYS) orchestra, led by esteemed maestro David Newman, performs the film score to the 1980s time-travel classic Back to the Future live-to-picture. Just before the concert, at 7pm, leading film and television music writer Jon Burlingame will moderate a Q&A with the film's distinguished composer, Alan Silvestri. The film's screenwriter Bob Gale will also be in attendance.
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Kenny Hall Eulogized at USC
Music editor, beloved educator remembered by Jon Burlingame

Kenny Hall

LOS ANGELES—Veteran music editor and beloved educator Kenny Hall was eulogized as a top professional and a warm and caring mentor at a memorial service Tuesday night on the USC campus.
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Michael Feinstein Salutes David Raksin on Grand Avenue
Vocalist/historian heads benefit concert for the Colburn School and the Great American Songbook Foundation by Jon Burlingame

Michael Feinstein

LOS ANGELES—Singer-pianist Michael Feinstein and students from the Colburn music schools performed music of composer David Raksin Saturday night at the Herbert Zipper Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
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Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano
Pianist Gloria Cheng presents an evening with Broughton, Davis, Newman and Williams by Jon Burlingame

WESTWOOD, Calif.—Pianist Gloria Cheng's album Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano was the subject of a film premiere, a mini-concert and a panel discussion Saturday night at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall.
(L to R) Moderator Ben Proudfoot, Don Davis, Randy Newman, John Williams, Bruce Broughton and Gloria Cheng.

(L to R) Moderator Ben Proudfoot, Don Davis, Randy Newman, John Williams, Bruce Broughton and Gloria Cheng.

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Randy Newman Tributed by RMA
Composer reminisces with crowd of top studio players by Jon Burlingame

RMA Randy Newman Tribute

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif.—Nearly 300 of Los Angeles' top studio musicians honored Oscar-winning composer Randy Newman Sunday night at the annual Recording Musicians Association Night at the Bel Air Bay Club.
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We Have to Go Back: The Lost Concert
Fans come from around the world to see Giacchino conducting his Emmy-winning music by Jon Burlingame

Lost Concert

Photo by Marilee Bradford

HOLLYWOOD—"It would not be Lost without the elements," producer Carlton Cuse quipped, referring to the gusty winds that blew throughout Thursday night's concert of music from the TV series at the outdoor Ford Theatre venue north of Hollywood.
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Diane Warren Wins the Emmy
Other music honors go to Callery, Quayle, Reyes, Elfman by Jon Burlingame

Diane Warren

Diane Warren

LOS ANGELES—Diane Warren won the Emmy for her song "Til It Happens to You," one of five music awards handed out at Saturday's Creative Arts Emmys ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Warren – who became the first writer ever to be nominated for an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy for the same song – penned the tune (with contributions by Lady Gaga, who sang the original) for the documentary The Hunting Ground, about sexual assault on college campuses. Originally released to theaters, it later played on CNN, which under Television Academy rules made it eligible for the honor.
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John Williams Cheered at Bowl, Celebrated on TCM
Composer honored with AFI tributes, classic films by Jon Burlingame

Williams accepts the AFI Life Achievement Award

Williams accepts the AFI Life Achievement Award

HOLLYWOOD—How does one measure an artist's impact on popular culture?

In the case of composer John Williams, consider this: Fifty thousand people saw him over the weekend at the Hollywood Bowl, cheering him like a rock star, with thousands of them waving red, green and blue "lightsabers" in time to the music.
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Hollywood's top female composers unite for historic concert by Jon Burlingame

Photo by Sherry Rayn Barnett

LOS ANGELES—Another glass ceiling smashed.

Friday night in downtown Los Angeles, an estimated 1,500 watched as a 55-piece orchestra and 30-voice choir performed the music of 20 composers for film, television and games – all of whom happen to be women.
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Emmy-Nominated Series Composers Speak
Six top composers talk about their approaches to TV drama by Jon Burlingame

Six Composers Speak

HOLLYWOOD—Writing the music for a weekly television series is among the hardest jobs in the business. A composer must confer with producers, compose anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes of music per episode, and often deliver a finished product within a matter of days to make locked airdates on time.
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Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience
Ramin Djawadi's music to tour U.S., Canada in 2017 by Jon Burlingame

Concept art for the Game of Thrones concert. (HBO/LiveNation)

Concept art for the Game of Thrones concert. (HBO/LiveNation)

HOLLYWOOD—Several hundred Game of Thrones fans were treated to a live performance of their favorite music Monday at the Hollywood Palladium, as Live Nation announced a nationwide concert tour of composer Ramin Djawadi's work for the ultra-popular HBO series.
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Female media composers come together for landmark concert by Phil Grayson

LOS ANGELES—In an event that is believed to be the first of its kind, the Alliance for Women Film Composers and Grand Performances will stage a concert devoted entirely to the music of women composers for films, television and games, at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.
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Music Emmy Nominees Announced
Alan Menken possible EGOT; Diane Warren song nom'd for all 3 top industry awards by Jon Burlingame

Emmy Nominations

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Songwriters took center stage as the Television Academy announced its Emmy nominations for the 2015-16 season, including notable nods for eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken and perennial Oscar bridesmaid Diane Warren.
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Academy Increases Diversity in Music Branch
26 composers, music editors, songwriters invited; nearly half female by Jon Burlingame

HOLLYWOOD—Twenty-six composers, songwriters and music editors have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, part of the largest crowd ever to be asked, the Academy announced on Wednesday.
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Pittsburgh Symphony to Perform Howard Shore Music
World premiere of Hobbit suite scheduled by Marilee Bradford

Howard Shore
PITTSBURGH, PA.—In a first-of-its-kind event, the Pittsburgh Symphony will explore Howard Shore's film-music career while also debuting a new 30-minute work based on music from his three Hobbit films.

"The Film Music of Howard Shore" will be performed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 24-26, with Ludwig Wicki conducting, at the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. Featured soloists will be Lydia Kavina, theremin; Eva Rainforth, mezzo-soprano; and Maksim Shcherbatyuk, boy soprano.
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James Newton Howard Receives BMI Icon Award
David Newman tributed with Classic Contribution Award by Jon Burlingame

James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard

David Newman

David Newman

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Prolific film composer James Newton Howard received the BMI Icon award for career achievement, while renowned conductor David Newman received the Classic Contribution Award, at the annual Film and Television Awards of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Wednesday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
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Craig Armstrong Receives ASCAP's Top Film Award
McCreary, Morricone, Wintory earn Composers' Choice Awards by Jon Burlingame

Craig Armstrong (photo by Getty images for ASCAP)

Craig Armstrong
Photo by Getty images for ASCAP

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Composer Craig Armstrong, whose music for Baz Luhrmann and Oliver Stone movies has catapulted him to prominence, was honored with the Henry Mancini Award by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Thursday night at its 31st annual Screen Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The Glasgow-born composer's films include Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby; Stone's World Trade Center and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; and such other films as Love Actually, The Quiet American, Ray and Far From the Madding Crowd. Stone, who presented the award, said "he sees beyond the ordinary" and called him "one unassuming Scot."
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Alexander the Great and Other Rare Rosenman
Combat!, Alexander the Great, Sybil among rescued TV recordings

Rare Rosenman CD

Academy Award- and Emmy-winning Leonard Rosenman (1924-2008) – celebrated composer of East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Fantastic Voyage and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – also wrote music for other media.

The Film Music Society, the entertainment industry-based preservation group, has recently rescued and restored some of Rosenman's music from four historic television productions and a theme park attraction, and is releasing these archival recordings on a 76-minute CD called Alexander the Great and Other Rare Rosenman.
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Index for The Cue Sheet Journal
Quarterly publication is a well-established source of film music articles, news and historical information

A comprehensive index for The Cue Sheet, the quarterly journal of The Film Music Society, is now available on-line at the FMS web site.

From its initial publication as a multi-page mimeograph in January 1984, The Cue Sheet has grown to be among the most highly respected sources for articles and essays on the subject of film and television music.

The journal's content ranges from biographical essays and in-memoriam tributes to articles on contemporary issues, opinion pieces and book reviews, featuring the works of such notable journalists and historians as Fred Steiner, James Lipton, John Caps, Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer, Clifford McCarty, Jon Burlingame, Steven Smith and Ross Care, among others.
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Music and the Moving Image
UIP, NYU and FMS combine efforts for premiere on-line scholarly journal

The University of Illinois Press, in conjunction with New York University Steinhardt School's Department of Music & Performing Arts Professions and The Film Music Society, has published Music and the Moving Image, a premiere online scholarly journal dedicated to the relationship between music and the wide spectrum of moving images, from film and television to computer and interactive performance.

Music and the Moving Image will be issued three times annually (spring, summer, fall). Volume 1 (Spring 2008) will receive its inaugural launch on February 29 at http://mmi.press.uiuc.edu/.

Leading an impressive editorial board of educators and music professionals, executive editors conductor/musicologist Gillian B. Anderson and Director of the Film Music program at NYU/Steinhardt Ronald H. Sadoff will consider submissions from both scholars and practitioners. All papers will be accepted for inclusion in the journal based upon a peer-review process. Although the journal will be published in English, international diversity is encouraged. Visit Call for Papers/Submission Guidelines for more information.

Annual individual subscriptions are available for $30 (a special Film Music Society membership rate is $21), and the institutional rate is $60. An order form is available HERE or through the journal web site.

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The Timeless Melodies of David Raksin
Rare sheet music folio now available through The Film Music Society

The Timeless Melodies of David RaksinHad David Raksin written nothing but the immortal "Laura," it would have been measure enough of his incomparable talent for melody and harmony.

But the composer of scores for such Hollywood classics as Forever Amber, The Bad and the Beautiful and Separate Tables had also written a treasure trove of songs. He shared his favorites in a collection called The Timeless Melodies of David Raksin.

Originally published by Ekay Music in 1996, this extraordinary 112-page, 9" x 12" collection of sheet music has long been out of print and hard to find.

A number of years ago, Raksin donated a few copies of this songbook to The Film Music Society for fundraising, and we are happy to offer them for purchase while the supply lasts.
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Rózsa's Jungle Book Available in Short Supply!
FMS releases rare score in celebration of the composer's centenary

Rózsa's Jungle Book

Track 21: Excerpt from a June 1, 1974 interview with Miklós Rózsa conducted by Rudy Behlmer, discussing Rózsa's score for Jungle Book.

In celebration of Miklós Rózsa's centennial year, The Film Music Society is proud to re-release Rózsa's historic score for the 1942 classic motion picture, Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Nearly two years ago, this popular CD was sold out of its Limited Edition release, and the FMS archived the manufacturer's overage. Due to popular demand by members and nonmembers alike, we decided to celebrate Rozsa's centenary by making our surplus copies available for purchase.

Rózsa's music shines on this CD in a way it never has before. Featuring lengthy and authoritative liner notes by Golden Age film expert Rudy Behlmer, this is an album you won't want to miss, skillfully restored and remastered from the last surviving transcription discs. As a bonus track, we've included an excerpt of a rare interview with Rózsa discussing his score with Behlmer in 1974.
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Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat with Bernard Herrmann
FMS restores recording of never-before-released 1970 interview

Herrmann's "Conversations"
Film music preservation is not just about saving music manuscripts and recordings. It's also about saving the artform's history through writings, photographs and, in rare opportunites, the spoken word.

The Film Music Society is pleased to present its newest CD release, Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat With Bernard Herrmann.

On September 26, 1970, Leslie Zador (the son of orchestrator Eugene Zador) and Gregory Rose from classical radio station KFAC interviewed Herrmann in his North Hollywood home on behalf of the Los Angeles Free Press. The interview was transcribed and an article appeared in the Free Press about a month later. Soon after, the sole recording of the interview was stowed away for more than 35 years.

Excerpts of the original transcript were published in the Society's anthology Film Music 1 (1989). The audio tape was recently retrieved and generously donated by Zador to the FMS for historic preservation. Now, with permission from the interviewers and Herrmann's wife Norma Shepherd, this newly restored recording of one of Hollywood's most revered composers will soon be available on CD in its entirety (with the exception of a few imprudent remarks).
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The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri TiomkinThe World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin now available!

Tracks Include:

Click select links to hear sample audio tracks.

1. 1M1/1M2 2:29
2. 1M3 :51
3. 1M5 2:30
4. 1M8 (outtake) 1:05
5. 3M1 (outtake) 1:02
6. 3M3/3M4 1:34
7. 3M7 (partial outtake) 1:45
8. 8M5 (partial outtake) 2:45

9. M11 (partial outtake) 2:28
10. M12 1:54
11. M13 (partial outtake) 1:48
12. M14 (outtake) :41
13. M21 (partial outtake) 2:25
14. M22 (partial outtake) 1:41
15. M24 2:08
16. M42 2:11
17. M43 (outtake) 2:04
18. M50 3:39
19. M52 2:43

20. 1M1/1M2 1:32
21. 1M3 (outtake) :28
22. 1M4 (partial outtake) :32
23. 2M1 1:33
24. 2M2/2M2A/2M2AA 1:38
25. 3M7 (outtake) :38
26. 3M10A :28
27. 4M5 1:01
28. 4M6 3:09
29. 5M2 1:35
30. 5M3 1:23

31. 1M1 1:28
32. 1M2/1M3 1:19
33. 1M4 1:11
34. 1M6 :34
35. 1M8 :39
36. 2M1 1:52
37. 2M4/2M6 (partial outtake) :53
38. 2M8/2M8A (alt. Version) :38
39. 3M1 2:50
40. 3M3 1:07
41. 4M2 (partial outtake) 2:09
42. 5M1 (outtake) 1:58
43. 5M3 1:43
44. 5M4/5M5 1:25
45. 6M1 (outtake) 1:48
46. 9M1/9M2 1:44
47. 9M3/9AM1/9AM2 3:18

The Film Music Society is pleased to offer previously unreleased recordings of eminent film composer Dimitri Tiomkin's scores from four historically significant World War II documentary features.

The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin includes nearly 79 minutes of Tiomkin's music from the Army orientation films of producer Frank Capra – The Battle of Russia (1943), Tunisian Victory (1944), The Negro Soldier (1944) and San Pietro (1945) – ranging in style from inspiring military marches to themes that underpin the despair of war, from American gospel and jazz to traditional Russian folk melodies, from the modern beat of the big band to the classical strains of Tschaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

The recordings in this collection originated from 16-inch acetate transcription discs owned by Tiomkin, which were transferred to 1/4-inch magnetic tape in the mid-1980s by innovative recording engineer Bob Auger. The tapes remained in the possession of Tiomkin's wife Olivia until earlier this year when they were transferred to digital format for restoration and inclusion on this CD.

Accompanying these recordings is a deluxe 16-page booklet containing never-before-seen photographs and authoritative liner notes by Tiomkin expert Warren Sherk.

The Cue Sheet, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct. 2005) The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin is a Limited Edition, with only 1,000 copies manufactured. It is available to the public for $20 plus s/h. If you would like to order your copy, please contact us or visit the Merchandise page for more information. But hurry! Stock is running low. The FMS quarterly journal, The Cue Sheet, Vol. 20, No. 4 (October 2005), features an extended version of Warren Sherk's informative liner notes for this important restoration. The issue is available for $7.50 plus s/h, or $6 if purchased with the CD.

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Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat with Bernard Herrmann CD

The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin CD

Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book soundtrack CD

SPFM Takemitsu Tribute CD – SOLD OUT

SPFM Goldsmith Tribute CD

Music from CBS Westerns CD




Elmer Bernstein's Film Music Notebook


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The periodic newsletter, previously sent by US mail exclusively to FMS members, is now right here on the News & Events page of this website. Each Friday, this online version of the newsletter provides the latest industry information; membership announcements; upcoming events; newsworthy articles; and an occasional series we call Da Capo, offering historical articles related to film and TV music.

Freelance submissions: Newsworthy information and film/TV music-related articles may be submitted for consideration to editor@filmmusicsociety.org. The FMS is under no obligation to publish and/or otherwise utilize submissions or any portions thereof. The FMS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, supported solely by private donations. No remuneration is available for submissions.

Past Features

Morricone Wins Oscar Music Gold At Last

Bond song earns victory for Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes

Ray Colcord: An Appreciation

Prolific television composer left a legacy of public service

Pianist Annette Kaufman Dies

Widow, biographer of violinist Louis Kaufman was 101

Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection

John Lunn's Emmy-winning music released in 2-CD set

88th Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced

The Force Awakens Williams' 50th Oscar nom

Spotlight on Howard Shore's Score

Piano-driven chamber music propels journalism film

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