Articles

Stephen Schwartz talks about the “Wicked” movie

Monday, May 22nd, 2017 at 9:03 am

Stephen Schwartz was honored last week with the Founders Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In addition to covering the annual ASCAP Screen Music Awards for Variety — which featured not only the Schwartz honor but a number of other awards doled out to film, TV and video game composers… Read More

Alan Silvestri Named BMI Icon

Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Oscar-nominated, Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer Alan Silvestri received BMI’s Icon Award Wednesday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. His was the top honor among dozens distributed by the performing-rights society. The evening was a who’s-who of composers, songwriters and music supervisors active in films and TV. Variety asked me to cover the event, so I… Read More

Goldsmith Star on the Walk of Fame

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 7:19 am

Oscar-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, May 9, 2017. For a section in this week’s Variety, I asked composers who knew him and directors who worked with him for a little perspective on the man and his career. Goldsmith, whose filmography included The Sand Pebbles, Patton,… Read More

Zimmer, Balfe music for NatGeo’s “Genius”

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 at 10:06 am

Ron Howard, who produced (and directed the first episode of) the new National Geographic series Genius, about the life of Albert Einstein, has often turned to composer Hans Zimmer for his movie scores (including Frost / Nixon, Rush and the Da Vinci Code films). So it was a natural for him to ask Zimmer to… Read More

A “Rifleman” soundtrack… nearly six decades later

Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at 6:37 am

The surprise of the year in terms of soundtrack releases is an original score album of music from The Rifleman — the beloved 1958-63 Western drama starring Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford. Composer Herschel Burke Gilbert had always intended to release an album, as far back as 1960, but never quite got around to it…. Read More

Blake Neely, superhero composer

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 at 1:39 pm

For the main story in this week’s Music for Screens section in Variety, I profiled Blake Neely, who composes, supervises and/or produces approximately four hours of music every week for such DC Comics shows as Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl; the Archie Comics revamp Riverdale; and the thriller Blindspot. He’s also got a documentary coming… Read More

Music in “Julie’s Greenroom”

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Coming under the category of “boy, do we need it now” is the new children’s series demystifying the arts, Julie’s Greenroom on Netflix. It’s the creation of Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and each half-hour episode explores a different facet of the theater, from writing and acting to costumes and music. There… Read More

Henry Mancini legacy celebrated at The Wallis

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at 6:36 am

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a relatively new theater in the heart of Beverly Hills. The family of the late, Oscar-winning composer Henry Mancini assembled an incredible lineup of talent as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization on Saturday, April 1, and we were thrilled to be invited to cover it… Read More

Hans Zimmer, film-scoring professor!

Saturday, March 18th, 2017 at 1:31 pm

One of the most startling developments in the burgeoning field of film-music instruction is the “Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring” online primer now available from San Francisco-based MasterClass (which has recently offered videos of Aaron Sorkin teaching screenwriting, Steve Martin teaching comedy, Kevin Spacey teaching acting, etc.). It’s a series of 31 lessons, totaling over… Read More

Menken’s Third Shot at “Beauty and the Beast”

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 at 10:38 am

Upon hearing that Disney was creating a live-action version of its animated Beauty and the Beast musical, my first thought was: What will composer Alan Menken do differently than he has already done in the now-classic 1991 original (which won him Oscars for song and score) or the 1994 Broadway stage version (which earned Tony… Read More