Honor Announced Feb. 29 at Berklee’s 10th Annual BMI Day
Composer Javier Zacharias was named the 2008 BMI Film Scoring Scholarship recipient at a presentation during the 10th annual BMI Day at Berklee College of Music. BMI composer Mark Mancina, in whose name this year’s scholarship is given; Chris Montan, Walt Disney Music president; Doreen Ringer-Ross, BMI Vice President, Film/TV relations; Berklee President Roger Brown; and Berklee Film Scoring Chair Dan Carlin presented the scholarship to Zacharias at the event. The BMI Film Scoring Scholarship is a yearly tuition scholarship awarded on the basis of compositional maturity and talent, as well as financial need. Each year, the scholarship is given in the name of a noted BMI composer. Mancina, this year’s honored composer, and Chris Montan, Walt Disney Music president, co-taught a master class on film scoring as part of the ceremony.
“This scholarship continues our mission of supporting young and emerging composers at the college level,” stated BMI’s Ringer-Ross. “We support Berklee’s commitment to excellence in music and film scoring and their determination to further the growth of talented, trained, and educated composers.”
Javier Zacharias, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, developed an interest in jazz at age 7 when he began playing piano. At 11, he also picked up the saxophone, studying with some of Argentina’s finest players. In 2002, he passed up a scholarship to study contemporary music at Escuela de Musica Contemporanea, enrolling instead at the Universidad Católica Argentina, where he duel majored in orchestra conducting and composition. Before long, Zacharias was playing saxophone, keyboard, and drums in a variety of commercial groups. Prior to moving to Boston to study film scoring at Berklee, he was pursuing an industrial engineering degree at Universidad de Buenos Aires.
Mark Mancina has composed film scores for almost every genre: drama, action, comedy, suspense, and period epic. His honors include three Grammys, an American Music Award, Britain’s Ivor Novello Award, and a Tony nomination. Born in Santa Monica, CA, he began his musical training at an early age, focusing on guitar, piano, bass, percussion, and drums. Recent career highlights include composing the original score for films August Rush, Camille, and Shooter, and co-scoring the CBS primetime drama Criminal Minds. Past projects include the Oscar-winning Training Day, Speed, Twister, Bad Boys, Tarzan, and Moll Flanders. In addition to his film and television work, Mancina added Broadway to his list of accomplishments when he co-wrote songs, produced, and arranged the score for the musical production of The Lion King.
Chris Montan began his career as a BMI singer-songwriter before finding his niche in production. A longtime music executive in the recording and film industry, Mr. Montan joined Walt Disney Productions in 1984, now serving as President of Walt Disney Music. Under his guidance, soundtracks from nine theatrical releases (Cocktail, Beaches, The Little Mermaid, Pretty Woman, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas and Tarzan) were certified multi-platinum. Additionally, Disney has received GRAMMY, Oscar, and Golden-Globe recognition for many of its music entries. Among Mr. Montan’s recent projects are the multi-Oscar nominated films Ratatouille, Enchanted, and Cars. He also was a producer on the Wonderful World of Disney’s production of Cinderella, nominated for seven Emmy Awards. Perhaps more significantly, Mr. Montan has played a major role in Disney’s transition into Broadway musicals, meeting unparalleled success on such projects as Beauty and the Beast and Lion King.