John Williams Wins Four IFMCA Awards, Plus One for Lifetime Achievement

John Williams and Steve Vertlieb

By Steve Vertlieb: The International Film Music Critics Association announced the winners of the 2019 IFMCA Awards on February 20.

As a proud voting member of The International Film Music Critics Association, it is my special pleasure to announce that “America’s Composer,” Maestro John Williams, has won the award for Best Film Score of the Year for his work on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as a very special Life Achievement Award for his inspiring body of work.

The winners are:

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

• STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, music by John Williams

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

• BEAR McCREARY

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

• NAINITA DESAI

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

• LITTLE WOMEN, music by Alexandre Desplat

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

• JOJO RABBIT, music by Michael Giacchino

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

• 1917, music by Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

• STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, music by John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD, music by John Powell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

• OUR PLANET, music by Steven Price

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR TELEVISION

• CHERNOBYL, music by Hildur Gudnadóttir

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

• REND, music by Neal Acree

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – RE-RELEASE OR RE-RECORDING

• DIAL M FOR MURDER, music by Dimitri Tiomkin; The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by William Stromberg; album produced by Douglass Fake; liner notes by Roger Feigelson and Douglas Fake; art direction by Kay Marshall (Intrada)

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

• ACROSS THE STARS, music by John Williams; The Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles and Anne-Sophie Mutter, conducted by John Williams; album produced by Bernhard Güttler; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; art direction by Büro Dirk Rudolph (Deutsche Grammophon)

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

• LA LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

• “The Rise of Skywalker” from STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, music by John Williams

THE ROBERTO ASCHERI SPECIAL AWARD

• JOHN WILLIAMS, for career achievement

Genre Dominates International Film Music Critics Association Awards Nominations 2019

Hildur Gudnadóttir

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) today announced its nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2019, for the 16th annual IFMCA Awards. For the first time in IFMCA history a female composer leads the field, with Icelandic composer and cellist Hildur Gudnadóttir receiving five separate nominations for her work on the critically acclaimed comic-book drama Joker, and for the HBO television series Chernobyl. These are the first nominations for Gudnadóttir, who is nominated in the categories for Film Score of the Year, Composer of the Year, Drama Score, Television Score, and Film Music Composition of the Year. (Note: Gudnadóttir is spelled here with a Latin “d” because WordPress doesn’t support the correct character.)

Also nominated for both Score of the Year and Composer of the Year are veteran composers Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, and John Williams.

American Thomas Newman receives his nominations mostly for his work on director Sam Mendes’s epic World War I action-drama 1917, however, he also scored the biopic Tolkien, which is another WWI movie, albeit one that specifically looks at the wartime experiences of the author of The Lord of the Rings.

The legendary John Williams, who turns 88 next week, wrote the final installment in the Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker, and in doing so completed a 40-year film music project spanning nine movies that may never be equaled in the history of cinema. The score is also nominated for Fantasy/SciFi/Horror Score and Film Music Composition of the Year. Williams has three prior IFMCA Score of the Year wins, for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, War Horse in 2011, and Memoirs of a Geisha in 2005.

The fifth nominee for Score of the Year is Englishman John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” the third and final entry in the series of well-loved animated films based on the novels by Cressida Cowell. Powell previously won the IFMCA Score of the Year awards in 2018 for Solo and in 2010 for the original How to Train Your Dragon.

The fifth nominee for Composer of the Year is American composer Bear McCreary, who wrote music for an astonishing six films and four television series in 2019. The most lauded of these are Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which is nominated in the Fantasy-SciFi-Horror category, and The Professor and the Madman, which is nominated in the Drama category.

The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 16th IFMCA Awards on February 20, 2020.

The full list of nominees follows the jump.

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International Film Music Critics Association Awards 2018

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announced the winners of the 2018 IFMCA Awards on February 21.

Score of the Year goes to British composer John Powell for his score for the Star Wars spin-off story Solo, which looked at the early life of the legendary rogue and intergalactic smuggler Han Solo. IFMCA members Asier Senarriaga and Óscar Giménez called Solo “a spectacular score that combines the classic ideas of Williams with the talent of Powell,” while IFMCA member Jon Broxton – speaking about the score’s multitude of recurring character themes – said that the way Powell “incorporates all the thematic complexity into his score is masterful, but best of all is the way he allows them to develop organically; this is not just a rigid leitmotif score where mathematics trumps emotion. Instead, Powell engages in sensible and appropriate development, meaning that when the emotional outbursts do come, they pack a real wallop, and satisfy both the heart and the brain in equal measure.”

The Solo score is also named Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film, while John Williams’s contribution to the score, the standalone piece “The Adventures of Han,” is named Film Music Composition of the Year. These are the seventh and eighth IFMCA Award wins of Powell’s career; he previously won the Score of the Year award for How to Train Your Dragon in 2010.

James Newton Howard is named Composer of the Year, and takes home the award for Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film for his work on the controversial Jennifer Lawrence Cold War spy thriller Red Sparrow. His 2018 work also included the second Harry Potter spinoff film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and the lavish fantasy The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

British composer Amelia Warner is named Breakthrough Composer of the Year for her enormously impressive mainstream debut work scoring the literary drama based on the life of the groundbreaking horror author Mary Shelley.

In the non-film categories, composer Christopher Lennertz wins the award for Best Original Score for a Television Series for Lost in Space, while composer Bear McCreary wins the award for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media for the action adventure game “God of War”.

Burbank, California-based La-La Land Records is named Film Music Record Label of the Year in recognition of their ongoing excellence in restoring and releasing the most beloved film scores of the past. Acclaimed album producer Mike Matessino receives both Archival Awards: one for his work restoring and releasing John Williams’s classic score for the 1979 Frank Langella version of Dracula on the Varèse Sarabande label, and one for his work in putting together the lavish box set of John Williams’s three Harry Potter scores – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – for La-La Land Records. Producer Robert Townson shares the award for Dracula, and album artist Jim Titus worked on both releases.

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • SOLO, music by John Powell

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • JAMES NEWTON HOWARD

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • AMELIA WARNER

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “The Adventures of Han” from SOLO, written by John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, music by Max Richter

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • MARY POPPINS RETURNS, music by Marc Shaiman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • RED SPARROW, music by James Newton Howard

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

  • SOLO, music by John Powell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM

  • MAX AND ME, music by Mark McKenzie

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • TIDES OF FATE, music by Pinar Toprak

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES

  • LOST IN SPACE, music by Christopher Lennertz

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • GOD OF WAR, music by Bear McCreary

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE – NEW RELEASE OR NEW RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • DRACULA, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino and Robert Townson; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (Varèse Sarabande)

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

  • HARRY POTTER: THE JOHN WILLIAMS SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION; music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)

[Based on a press release. Thanks to Steve Vertlieb for the story.]

John Williams Wins Three International Film Music Critics Association Awards

Star Wars the force awakens albumThe International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) has announced the 2015 IFMCA Awards for excellence in musical scoring.

The award for Score of the Year goes to composer John Williams for his work on the massively popular and successful epic science fiction fantasy “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” from director J. J. Abrams…. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is also named Best Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film, and wins the Film Music Composition of the Year award for the film’s conclusive end credits suite, “The Jedi Steps and Finale”. These are the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth IFMCA Awards of Williams’s career, and it marks the third time he has been awarded Score of the Year, after “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, and “War Horse” in 2011.

Composer Michael Giacchino is named Composer of the Year, having written four outstanding works spanning multiple genres in the past year. His work in 2015 includes scoring the emotional Disney/Pixar film “Inside Out,” which is also named Best Score for an Animated Film; the ambitious science fiction adventure “Jupiter Ascending,” which was nominated in multiple genres including Score of the Year; the fantastical adventure “Tomorrowland,” which was nominated for Film Music Composition of the Year; and the massively successful action-adventure “Jurassic World,” which built on John Williams’s score for the first film…

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, music by John Williams

COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • Michael Giacchino

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • Maurizio Malagnini

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “The Jedi Steps and Finale” from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, music by John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • Wolf Totem, music by James Horner

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • Krampus, music by Douglas Pipes

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, music by Joe Kraemer

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, music by John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Inside Out, music by Michael Giacchino

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • The Hunt, music by Steven Price

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES

  • Carlos, Rey Emperador, music by Federico Jusid

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, music by Austin Wintory

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – RE-RELEASE OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • Obsession; music by Bernard Herrmann, album produced by George Litto, Laurent Lafarge, and Cyril Durand-Roger, liner notes by Daniel Schweiger, album art direction by David Marques (Music Box)

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – RE-RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • Obsession; music by Bernard Herrmann, performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Nic Raine, album produced by James Fitzpatrick, liner notes by Christopher Husted, album art direction by Matthew Wright and Damien Doherty (Tadlow)

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

  • Mission: Impossible – The Television Scores; music by Various Artists, album produced by Jon Burlingame, liner notes by Jon Burlingame, album art direction by Joe Sikoryak (La-La Land)

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • Intrada Records, Douglass Fake, Roger Feigelson

SPECIAL AWARD

  • Pas de Deux, classical work by James Horner, commissioned by violinist Mari Samuelsen and cellist Hakon Samuelsen

[Thanks to Steve Vertlieb for the story.]