Film scores

IFMCA Awards winners 2015

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2015

IFMCA AWARDS; JOHN WILLIAMS WINS THREE AWARDS FOR STAR WARS

FEBRUARY 18, 2015 — The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA)

announces its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2015, in the 2015 IFMCA

Awards.

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. IFMCA member James Southall said that “the Force

remains strong in John Williams and long may it continue” and called the score “glorious,”

while IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen called the score “a powerfully melodic and

excitingly complex piece of grand artistry from an era of greatness that only John Williams in

top form could deliver.” “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 featuring genetically modified dinosaurs running amok in a lavish

theme park. IFMCA member Karol Krok called “Inside Out” “enjoyable and endearing,” while

IFMCA member Charlie Brigden said that “Jurassic World” “displays just how much of a

command [Giacchino] has over a modern symphony”. These are the thirteenth and fourteenth

IFMCA Awards of Giacchino’s career, and it marks the third time he has been named

Composer of the Year, following his previous wins in 2004 and 2009.

The IFMCA’s ongoing recognition of emerging talent in the film music world this year

spotlights Italian composer Maurizio Malagnini, who is named Breakthrough Composer of

the Year. Malagnini has been working primarily in world of British television since he first

emerged onto the scene in 2010, writing scores for popular shows such as “Muddle Earth,”

“The Body Farm,” “The Paradise,” and “Call the Midwife,” but really impressed IFMCA

members this year with his first major film score for a new version of the classic Peter Pan

story, “Peter & Wendy”.  IFMCA member Jon Broxton called “Peter & Wendy” “undoubtedly

one of the best scores of 2015”, while IFMCA member Peter Simons described the score as

being “so infectious, so colourful, playful and utterly charming”.

The various other genre awards are won by James Horner for the epic Chinese-language

drama “Wolf Totem”; Douglas Pipes for the mischievous and malevolent Christmas comedy

“Krampus”; Joe Kraemer for the exciting retro action score for “Mission: Impossible – Rogue

Nation”; and Steven Price for his music for the BBC nature documentary “The Hunt”.

In the non-film categories, Argentine composer Federico Jusid wins the award for Best

Original Score for a Television Series for the third year in a row, this time for his astonishing

score for the Spanish historical TV drama “Carlos, Rey Emperador,” the sequel to the multi-

award winning “Isabel,” while composer Austin Wintory wins the award for Best Original

Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media for his groundbreaking work on “Assassin’s

Creed” Syndicate”, a score which not only includes classical dances used as action cues, but

also a number of original ‘murder ballads’ penned in collaboration with Australian musical

comedy group Tripod.

Oakland, California-based Intrada 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, while film music historian and writer Jon Burlingame wins the Archival

Compilation award for the wonderful box set of music from the original 1960s “Mission:

Impossible” he produced for La-La Land Records. Interestingly, both the Archival Re-

Release and Re-Recording categories are won by different versions of Bernard Herrmann’s

1976 score for the psychological thriller “Obsession” – firstly, the outstanding release of the

original score tracks by French label Music Box Records and producers George Litto,

Laurent Lafarge, and Cyril Durand-Roger; and secondly, the magnificent re-recording of the

entire score by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nic Raine, and

produced by James Fitzpatrick for Tadlow Music.

Finally, the IFMCA has decided to bestow a rare Special Award on the late James Horner, for

his classical work “Pas de Deux”. The piece is a double concerto for violin, cello, and

orchestra, and was commissioned by the Norwegian brother/sister musical duo Mari

Samuelsen and Hakon Samuelsen. The work was released through Mercury Classics and

Universal Music in May 2015, and represented the first of several anticipated major

excursions into pure classical music – what would have been a new and exciting phase in

the composer’s musical career, especially since his first, abortive attempts in the late 1970s

and early 1980s failed to ignite the public’s imagination. Sadly, with the composer’s tragic

death in a plane crash in June, it also represents ‘what might have been,’ and this award is

intended to be a tribute in recognition the composer’s life and work, and all the great

unheard music that died with him.

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COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS

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

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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