Christopher Young Honored for Outstanding Career Achievement; Peter Golub Receives Classic Contribution Award
BMI honored the composers of music featured in the past year's top-grossing films, top-rated prime-time network television series and highest-ranking cable network programs May 21 at its annual Film & Television Awards. Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the black-tie gala was hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Film/TV Relations Vice President Doreen Ringer Ross, who handed out more than 80 BMI Crystals throughout the evening.
A highlight of the ceremony took the form of the Richard Kirk Award presentation to esteemed composer Christopher Young. Named after late BMI Vice President Richard Kirk, the prestigious award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music. As the 2008 honoree, Christopher Young joins an elite list of peers that includes George S. Clinton, Harry Gregson-Williams (PRS), Jerry Goldsmith, Thomas Newman, Michael Kamen, Mark Mothersbaugh, Danny Elfman, Alan Menken, Mike Post, Lalo Schifrin and John Williams.
Award-winning composer Christopher Young has carved out an enviable niche in the upper pantheon of Hollywood composers. The UCLA Film School alumnus first turned heads with fiendish scores for horror and science fiction projects, and he proceeded to garner accolades for work on macabre and fantastical films including Hellraiser, its Saturn award-winning sequel and Species, along with BMI award-winners Ghost Rider, The Grudge and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Young became a master of suspense, composing music for thrillers including Copycat and BMI honoree Entrapment, as well as dramatic and critical tours-de-force including Golden Globe nominee The Shipping News, Wonder Boys, Rounders and BMI award-winner Swordfish. He also fleshed out the haunting nuances and electrifying action sequences of box office gold Spiderman 3. The New Jersey native has also excelled in television composition, earning two Emmy nominations for telefilms Last Flight Out and Norma Jean & Marilyn. A dedicated mentor, Young has taught classes at USC, served as an advisor for the Sundance Institute's Film Composers Lab and created an innovative residential development to house aspiring composers in Los Angeles.
BMI also presented the Classic Contribution Award to Peter Golub in recognition of his progressive direction of the Sundance Institute's Film Composers Lab for the past ten years. An accomplished composer of film, theatre, ballet and concert works, Golub is a natural fit for the lab, which aims to enhance the role of music in independent film. His acute composition work includes scores for documentaries I.O.U.S.A. and Wordplay, along with films including The Great Debaters. Universally acknowledged as an unparalleled apprenticeship for the next generation of composing elite, the workshop has invaluably benefited from Golub's creative intuition and steady guidance.
BMI's Emmy-winning composers were also feted; the accomplished list included George Fenton (PRS) for the awe-inspiring documentary Planet Earth: Pole to Pole; William Ross for the 79th Annual Academy Awards; Lenny Williams for Nature: Christmas in Yellowstone; Yoav Goren for The XX Olympic Winter Games: The Stories of Torino; Katreese Barnes for Saturday Night Live's "Dick in a Box"; Gary Deinstadt, Billy Barber, Ron Komie, Danny Pelfrey and David Traugh for Guiding Light; along with Wes Boatman and John Henry Kreitler for "Love is Ecstasy" from Passions.
Legendary rocker turned lauded composer Pete Townshend (PRS) took home the evening's most awards, with three BMI Crystals for CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. Composers garnering two awards each were Steve Jablonsky for Transformers and Desperate Housewives; Rupert Gregson-Williams (PRS) for Bee Movie and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry; George Fenton for Fool's Gold and Planet Earth: Pole to Pole; Mychael Danna for Surf's Up and Medium; Aaron Zigman for Step Up 2: The Streets and Why Did I Get Married?; Kevin Kiner for Amazing Race and CSI: Miami; Mike Post for Law & Order and Law & Order SVU; and Matt Koskenmaki for Hell's Kitchen and The Ultimate Fighter.
The night's winning composers for top-grossing films and critically acclaimed gems also included past Richard Kirk Award recipient Harry Gregson-Williams (PRS) for Shrek the Third, Trevor Rabin for National Treasure: Book of Secrets, legendary composer and past Richard Kirk Award recipient Lalo Schifrin for Rush Hour 3, John Ottman for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Mark Mancina for television drama Criminal Minds, Randy Edelman for romantic comedy 27 Dresses, Tyler Bates for horror favorite Halloween and pop music architect Brian Wilson for HBO dramedy series Big Love.