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GHENT, Belgium — France’s Alexandre Desplat was named Film Composer of the Year at the 10th annual World Soundtrack Awards Saturday for his music to films such as Julie & Julia, The Ghost Writer, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Fantastic Mr. Fox, which won the award for Best Original Film Score of the Year.
“The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett won the award for Best Original Song Written for Film, and Poland’s Abel Korzeniowski was named Discovery of the Year as his score for A Single Man won the Public Choice Award. Clearly moved, Korzeniowski said, “This is the best thing that could happen.”
Five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Barry (Born Free, Out of Africa, Dances With Wolves) received a lifetime achievement award. Barry was unable to attend the event but he sent a video message of thanks that was screened at a concert of his music Thursday night where current James Bond film composer David Arnold accepted his award. Desplat was there to receive his honors on Saturday and Crazy Heart producer Judy Cairo picked up the song award.
The awards were presented on a night that the 37th Ghent International Film Festival celebrated the 10th anniversary of its World Soundtrack Awards with a concert featuring the music of 10 past winners. Nine of the 10 were on hand to introduce or play their music along with the Brussels Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brosse.
Oscar winners on hand included three-time winner Howard Shore, who introduced a suite from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and double winner Gustavo Santaolalla, who played his theme from Motorcycle Diaries on the ronroco and from Brokeback Mountain on guitar.
Gabriel Yared, who won the Academy Award for The English Patient, contributed two themes from The Talented Mr. Ripley; Elliot Goldenthal, who won for Frieda, provided a suite from Titus and Stephen Warbeck presented music from his Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love score.
Angelo Badalamenti played piano as the orchestra performed music from his Twin Peaks and Cousins scores and Craig Armstrong introduced themes from The Quiet American and Love Actually. French composer Bruno Coulais presented two pieces from Oceans and Holland’s Frederic Devreese introduced cues from Benvenuta andUn Soir, Un Train. The orchestra also played an excerpt from the Volver score, but composer Alberto Iglesias sent regrets from Spain where he is working on a new Pedro Almodovar picture.
All the returning composers praised WSA organizers for their work in honoring film scoring and Santaolalla said that winning the Discovery prize in 2004 for 21 Grams had changed his career. He thanked WSA managing director Jacques Dubrulle and retiring music projects director Marian Ponnet for organizing what he described as a “wonderful festival for the love of music.”
Dubrulle said later that Santaolalla’s win was won of his most treasured memories from the 10 years of the WSA, which began humbly and has attained a worldwide reputation for celebrating film music with awards and concerts. “It was a crazy idea for a small city in a small country, but we had a good orchestra and a good conductor and composers were very happy,” Dubrulle said.
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