Shirley Walker Award winners Wendy & Lisa

Last night, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) held its annual Film & Television Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman received the inaugural ASCAP Shirley Walker Award, which honors those whose achievements have contributed to the diversity of film and television music.  The composer duo, known for their work on such features as Dangerous Minds and Just Wright and TV shows including HeroesNurse Jackie and Touch, were presented the award by music supervisor Liza Richardson. Hans Zimmer congratulated the Emmy Award-winning composers via a video message.


Composer’s Choice Award winner Bear McCreary

For the first time in ASCAP awards history, the performing rights organization handed out the Composers’ Choice Awards, which was voted for by participating ASCAP writers. Oscar-nominated composer John Debney (The Passion of the Christ) presented the Composers’ Choice Award for Best ASCAP Film Score of 2013 to Steven Price for his score from Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, for which he also received an Oscar earlier this year. The composer accepted his award via pre-taped video message. In the Composers’ Choice Award for Best ASCAP TV Composer of 2013 category, which was presented by 19-time Emmy nominee Mark Snow (The X-Files), two composer tied for the honor. Bear McCreary won the award for his work on such shows as The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Da Vinci’s Demons and Dave Porter was honored for his music on the hit shows Breaking Bad and The Blacklist.

The evening also featured a number of live performances: Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies performed his winning theme from the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory; Garry Schyman‘s music to the video game BioShock Infinite was played by a string quartet; and a house band led by Kevin Teasley and featuring vocalist Crystal Starr performed a selection of Oscar-winning ASCAP songs from across film music history,  including a rendition of Henry Mancini’s Moon River performed with flutist Sara Andon. The evening also featured a video retrospective of ASCAP film composers and their iconic scores, including highlights from each of the past couple of decades.

ascap-film-tv-awardsIn addition, composers of the top box office film music, the most performed television music and the top video game music of 2013 were also honored at the event. Among the composers who accepted their awards in person were Marco Beltrami (A Good Day to Die Hard, Warm Bodies, The Wolverine, World War Z), Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring, Insidious: Chapter 2), Joseph Trapanese (Oblivion), Deborah Lurie (Safe Haven),  Heitor Pereira (The Smurfs 2, Despicable Me 2) and Nathan Whitehead (The Purge). Other recipients of the award in the Top Box Office Films category include Craig Armstrong (The Great Gatsby), Hans Zimmer (The Lone RangerMan of Steel), Randy Newman (Monsters University), Howard Shore (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Henry Jackman (Captain PhillipsTurbo), Johann Johansson (Prisoners), Lucas Vidal (Fast & Furious 6), Rodrigo Leao (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Rupert Gregson-Williams (Grown Ups 2).

ASCAP composers whose combined works earned the highest number of performance credits on network, local and cable television in the category of themes and dramatic underscore for the 2013 survey year were Joel Beckerman, Sean Callery, John Debney, Robert Duncan, James Levine, Jeff Lippencott, Walter Murphy, Didier Lean Rachou, David Vanacore and Mark T. Williams, all of which were in attendance at the event. Among the composers who were honored for writing the themes and underscore for the highest rated television series in 2013 and accepted their awards during the evening were Tobias Enhus & Kenneth Jordan (Almost Human), Sean Callery (HomelandElementary),  Mark Snow (Elementary), David Carbonara (Vegas), John Debney (Bonnie & Clyde), Robert Duncan (CastleLast Resort), Christopher Willis (Veep), Jay Gruska (Supernatural), Walter Murphy (Family Guy), James Levine (American Horror Story, Glee, Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles, Royal Pains), Gabriel Mann (Modern FamilyTwisted),  Bear McCreary (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.The Walking Dead), Joey Newman (The Middle),  Liz Phair (Super Fun Night), Dave Porter (The BlacklistBreaking Bad), Jacob Rebhun & Erica Weis (The Crazy Ones), Ed Robertson (The Big Bang Theory), Jeff Russo (Hostages), Pieter Schlosser (The Lying Game) and Scott Starrett (Drop Dead Diva). The Top Video Game Score award went to Garry Schyman, who composed the music to BioShock Infinite.  For the full list of winners, click here.