Ghent fest to honor Marvin Hamlisch

Composer to receive Lifetime Achievement prize

The Ghent Int’l Film Festival, best known as the premiere showcase for movie music talent, will be honoring three-time Oscar winner Marvin Hamlisch with the World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award during its 36th edition, which takes place Oct. 6-17 in the medieval town of Ghent, Belgium.

The 65-year-old composer who scored “The Way We Were” and “The Sting” will be feted during the fest’s culminating event, the World Soundtrack Awards, on Oct. 17, during which a medley of his film music will be performed by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, including the “Sophie’s Choice” suite, which Hamlisch will conduct. In accepting the accolade, Hamlisch follows in the footsteps of such movie maestros as Maurice Jarre, Elmer Bernstein and last year’s honoree, Angelo Badalamenti.

The fest also announced that two-time Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat (“The Queen,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) will be performing at two live events during the event: The first program, a tribute to femmes fatale titled “Divine Feminin” on Oct. 14, will see Desplat lead the Traffic Quintet in an evening of music adapted from fellow film composers Gabriel Yared, who performed at Ghent in 2008, and the late maestros George Delerue, Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann. Desplat will also conduct a medley of suites during the 9th World Soundtrack Awards that will include his music from “The Girl With the Pearl Earring,” “The Queen,” “Lust/Caution” and “The Painted Veil.” (Desplat was named Ghent’s Film Composer of the Year at the 7th WSAs.)

As is customary at Ghent, the talent who walked off with the previous year’s World Soundtrack Discovery Award, in this case Marc Streitenfeld (“American Gangster”), will be featured in the live music portion of the WSAs. In addition, Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi – who has worked with directors Wong Kar Wai and Zhang Yimou, will present a live concert Oct. 15.

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