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OSCARS: Academy to Showcase Music Nominations in Live Concert

Beginning next year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will showcase its Oscar-nominated songs and scores in a live concert a few days before the awards ceremony itself.

On Wednesday, music-branch governors Charles Fox, Arthur Hamilton and David Newman announced that the first such concert will be held on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles.

“A symphony orchestra of Los Angeles studio musicians will perform a suite from each score of up to 10 minutes in length,” the governors said. “Subject to availability, each original composer will conduct his or her own work. We’re planning for brief onstage conversation with composers and their directors about the process of creating music for motion pictures.”

They expressed the hope that the nominated songwriters and the original artists will perform their own songs live. The fact that the concert is just three days before the Oscar ceremony makes this possible, and perhaps even likely.

The governors noted that, while the singers and songwriters of nominated songs have frequently performed their tunes on the Oscarcast, “the musical scores… have not been performed on the Oscars in a fully realized way because of the length of the show.” And the length of the show (rarely less than three hours) makes such performances less and less likely as the years go on.

“This concert is truly a milestone in Oscar music history,” the governors said, “placing Oscar-nominated music center stage in what will hopefully become an annual event.”

Whether this live concert — which is not expected to be televised, and thus not available to anyone outside of the L.A. area — will mean that song performances will be dropped from the telecast, was not clear from the statement. The governors could not be reached for further comment late Wednesday.

The 86th annual Academy Awards will be telecast on Sunday, March 2, 2014.

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