BMI will proudly present the Icon Award for outstanding career achievement to prolific composer James Newton Howard at the Company’s 2016 Film & Television Awards. In addition, David Newman will receive the Classic Contribution Award for his advocacy of film music performances in concert halls, most notably through his work with the American Youth Symphony. The annual ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 11, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The private event will also honor the composers of the past year’s top-grossing films, top-rated primetime network television series and highest-ranking cable network programs.
BMI will bestow the Icon Award to James Newton Howard for his impactful contribution in the realm of film and television music. “We are thrilled to honor James, an exquisite musician and prolific composer whose glorious music is as inspiring as he is,” said Doreen Ringer-Ross, BMI Vice President, Film/TV Relations. “He is truly one of the most revered film composers in the world because of his masterful chameleon-like skills.”
BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Film/TV Relations Doreen Ringer-Ross will host the ceremony.
James Newton Howard recently sat down with BMI to discuss this honor, as well as a number of other topics about his extraordinary career. In this candid conversation with veteran film journalist, Jon Burlingame, Howard talks about his approach to scoring, his working relationship with director M. Night Shyamalan, his experiences with iconic artists like Elton John and Barbra Streisand, the fear he felt writing the Oscar-nominated score for The Fugitive, his desire to help the next generation of composers and much more. See video embedded below.
GRAMMY, Emmy award-winning, and multiple Academy and Golden Globe Award-nominated composer James Howard Newton is one of the most versatile and respected composers currently working in film. His career spans more than thirty years and 120 films, including the Academy Award-nominated scores for Defiance, Michael Clayton, The Village, The Fugitive, The Prince of Tides, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Academy Award-nominated songs for Junior and One Fine Day. Howard has also received Golden Globe nominations for his massive orchestral score for Peter Jackson’s blockbuster remake of King Kong, his provocative symphonic score for Defiance, and his songs from Junior and One Fine Day. His co-score with Hans Zimmer for The Dark Knight won the 2009 GRAMMY and he received GRAMMY nominations for his music from Blood Diamond and his song from One Fine Day. In addition, he won an Emmy for the theme to the Andre Braugher series Gideon’s Crossing, and received two additional Emmy nominations for the themes to the long-running Warner Bros. series ER and the Ving Rhames series Men. Howard has also scored all four installments of The Hunger Games, Concussion, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Maleficent, Batman Begins, Peter Pan, The Sixth Sense, and Unbreakable, to name a few. Though his training was classically driven, he has maintained an interest in rock and pop music, and it was his early work in the pop arena that allowed him to hone his talents as a musician, arranger, songwriter and producer. As a result, he racked up a string of collaborations in the studio and on the road with some of pop’s biggest names, including Elton John, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Barbra Streisand, Earth, Wind and Fire, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Toto, Glenn Frey, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Olivia Newton-John, Randy Newman, Rickie Lee Jones, and Chaka Khan.
BMI’s Classic Contribution Award recipient and former BMI Icon David Newman, is one of today’s most accomplished creators of music for film, as well as being one of the most sought-after conductors. In his 25-year career, he has scored more than 100 films, ranging from War of the Roses, Matilda, Bowfinger and Heathers, to the more recent The Spirit, Serenity, Behaving Badly and Tarzan. In addition, Newman’s music has brought to life the critically acclaimed dramas Brokedown Palace and Hoffa; top-grossing comedies Norbit, Scooby-Doo, Galaxy Quest, The Nutty Professor, The Flintstones, Throw Mama From the Train; and award- winning animated films Ice Age, The Brave Little Toaster and Anastasia. He has also appeared with leading orchestras throughout the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Boston Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Passionate about nurturing the next generation of musicians, Newman serves on the Board of the American Youth Symphony, a 43-year-old pre-professional orchestra based in Los Angeles, where in 2008, he launched the three-year “Jerry Goldsmith Project,” which explored the film music of composer Jerry Goldsmith. Following that success, he initiated another three-years projected devoted to the film music of Danny Elfman.
As the 2016 honoree, Howard joins a prestigious list of honorees that includes Alexandre Desplat, David Arnold, Rachel Portman, Alan Silvestri, David Newman, Thomas Newman, Rolfe Kent, Mychael Danna, George S. Clinton, Harry Gregson-Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Michael Kamen, Mark Mothersbaugh, Danny Elfman, Alan Menken, Mike Post, Lalo Schifrin, Cliff Martinez, John Barry and John Williams.
A Conversation With Composer James Newton Howard
BMI composer James Newton Howard creates music for film that can seem larger than life—a roaring element that engulfs the senses and stirs the emotions. From his thundering work in The Dark Knight to the haunting strains of The Sixth Sense to the lilting strings of The Hunger Games, Howard’s orchestrations have thrilled movie-goers the world over. Throughout his prolific career, he has scored over 120 major motion pictures, spanning genres, each one distinguished by a his richly nuanced approach to sonic storytelling. For his many achievements, he is widely considered one of the masters of the medium.
On behalf of BMI, veteran film journalist Jon Burlingame recently sat down with Howard in the composer’s studio to talk about his extraordinary career, his inspirations, his collaborations and what it means to him to be named BMI Icon at this year’s BMI Film and TV Awards. During the course of their in-depth discussion, Howard opened up about his particular approach to scoring, his fruitful working relationship with director M. Night Shyamalan, his early days working with iconic musicians like Elton John and Barbra Streisand, the fear he experienced trying to navigate through his Oscar-nominated score for The Fugitive, his desire to help the next generation of aspiring composers and much more. “It’s a great honor,” Howard tells Burlingame of being named BMI Icon, “and it runs concurrently with a lot of the feelings that I have about how lucky I’ve been, and how much I’m enjoying my career, even 30 years into it.” Watch their full conversation here.