Jóhannsson, R. Gregson-Williams, Shire big winners at World Soundtrack Awards

October 18, 2017

Jóhann Jóhannsson and Rupert Gregson-Williams main winners at World Soundtrack Awards, David Shire received Lifetime Achievement Award

The 17th World Soundtrack Awards were have been awarded in Ghent. Jóhann Jóhannsson and Rupert Gregson-Williams won Best Film Composer of the Year and Best Television Composer of the Year respectively, while David Shire received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his entire career. Guest of honor during the concert following the awards ceremony was jazz composer Terence Blanchard.


Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who previously scored such films as SICARIO and ‘RTHE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, was awarded Best Film Composer of the Year for Dennis Villeneuve’s science fiction feature ARRIVAL. Best Television Composer of the Year went to Rupert Gregson-Williams (VEEP, WONDER WOMAN) for scoring the Netflix-original drama series THE CROWN.

The song “City of Stars” from LA LA LAND, written by WHIPLASH composer Justin Hurwitz, was awarded Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film, while Nicholas Britell was voted this year’s Discovery of the Year for his Oscar-nominated score for MOONLIGHT. The budding composer’s portfolio also includes music for THE BIG SHORT, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, BATTLE OF THE SEXES, among others.

Having scored Hilde Van Mieghem’s feature SPEECHLESS, jazz pianist Jef Neve won the award for Best Original Score for a Belgian Production, while American composer Gavin Brivik took home the SABAM Award for the Most Original Composition by a Young International Composer. Finally, the Public Choice Award was presented to SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE composer A.R. Rahman for creating the music for Gurinder Chadha’s VICEROY’S HOUSE.

David Shire was granted the Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging his considerable and varied contribution to film music. During his impressive career, Shire worked with such great American directors as Francis Ford Coppola (THE COVERSATION), Alan J. Pakula (ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN), George A. Romero (MONKEY SHINES), Peter Hyam (2010), David Fincher (ZODIAC), and Martin Ritt for whom he wrote the Oscar-winning music score of NORMA RAE. Although his scores are often jazz influenced, Shire regularly showed proof of his versatility by scoring films like SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and RAID ON ENTEBBE.

The Awards Gala was followed by a concert performed by Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by Dirk Brossé and accompanied by film fragments on the big screen. Central guest was jazz composer Terence Blanchard, known for his long-running collaboration with director Spike Lee for whom he scored such films as MALCOLM X, CLOCKERS, and INSIDE MAN. In addition to Blanchard, 2016’s Discovery of the Year winner Joe Kraemer (JACK REACHER, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION) and Shire also performed.


left-to-right: Joe Kraemer, David Shire, Terence Blanchard

For more information about the World Soundtrack Awards, visit www.worldsoundtrackawards.com.

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