Stephen Schwartz accepting the ASCAP Founders Award

Last night, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) held its annual Screen Music Awards at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Stephen Schwartz was honored with the ASCAP Founders Award, which is given to pioneering ASCAP songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. The Academy Award-, Grammy Award- and Golden Globe-winning composer was presented the award by ASCAP president Paul Williams. Several of Schwartz’s collaborators congratulated the songwriter via a video message, including former DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, actor Victor Garber, producer Marc Platt and composers/lyricists Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. The event also featured a live performance of some of the composer’s songs, including a medley from Schwartz’s GodspellThe Prince of EgyptPocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame performed by LA Gay Men’s Chorus, For Good from Wicked performed by Georgia Stitt, and Corner of the Sky from the musical Pippin performed by actress Megan Hilty.


Didier Lean Rachou accepting his award for TV Composer of the Year

For the fourth time, the performing rights organization handed out the Composers’ Choice Awards, which was voted for by participating ASCAP writer members. Michael Giacchino was honored with the Film Score of the Year award for his music for Disney Animation’s Zootopia. The composer couldn’t attend the event in person as he was just finishing his final recording sessions for his score for Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the Composers’ Choice Award for Best ASCAP TV Composer of 2016 category, Didier Lean Rachou who scored shows such as Discovery’s Yukon Man and TLC’s Long Island Medium over the last year received the award for the first time. In the Video Game Score of the Year category, there was a tie between C. Paul JohnsonSkye LewinMichael Salvatori who took home the prize for Destiny: Rise of Iron and Klayton (Celldweller) Tom Salta (Atlas Plug) who were honored for Killer Instinct: Season 3.


Benjamin Wallfisch performing his score for ‘Hidden Figures’

The event also featured a performance of composer Henry Jackman‘s music from Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War (conduced by Stephen Coleman) who accepted the award for his music for the Top Box Office Films prize, which was presented to him by Academy Award nominee Bruce Broughton. Benjamin Wallfisch conducted and performed the piano in a performance of his co-score for the hit comedy drama Hidden Figures. In addition, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein performed a selection of their music from the Netflix hit series Stranger ThingsAlex Heffes performed the piano in a performance of his score from the Hulu limited series 11/22/63 and Angela Parrish performed the Academy Award-nominated songs Audition and City of Stars featuring lyrics by ASCAP members Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. Jesse Voccia performed his theme from Amazon’s Bosch and Austin Wintory conducted his theme from the video game Abzu.

ascap-screenAmong the other composers who received awards and attended the event in person were John Powell (Jason Bourne), Roque Banos (Don’t Breathe), Matthew Margeson (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring 2), Joseph Trapanese (Allegiant), Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead), Robert Duncan (Timeless), Jeff Cardoni (Silicon Valley), James Levine (Royal PainsRizzoli & Isles), Joey Newman (The Middle, Mysteries of Laura), Scott Doherty (Orange Is the New Black), Dave Porter (The Blacklist). David Vanacore (Survivor). Paul Brill, Russell W. HowardJared GutstadtMark T. Williams & Jeff Lippencott (American Idol), Robert Ducan & Didier Lean Rachou accepted the award for the Top Theme & Underscore award, which they shared with Hans Zimmer & Mark Snow who were both out of the country and unable to attend the event. For the full list of winners, visit ASCAP’s official website.

Check back on this page for videos of the full acceptance speeches of some of the winners.

  1. David says:

    Really, Zootopia? It’s not a bad score by any means, but it’s easily the weakest of Giacchino’s 2016 oeuvre. Nor does it hold a candle to some of his other work for animation. Strange choice.