You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vet Composer James Newton Howard Scores High Honor at BMI Film/TV Awards

Performing rights organization BMI honored James Newton Howard at their annual Film/TV Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday night, feting the veteran film composer as well as handing out awards to the composers of the year’s top-grossing films and TV series. It was an appropriate venue, as a clip reel of Newton’s greatest hits lingered on his career breakthrough score for “Pretty Woman,” which was set in the very same hotel.

Taking the stage at the end of the ceremony to accept the BMI icon award, Howard addressed his usual avoidance of such events, noting, “Like most people, I hate public speaking. I tend to avoid interviews, I don’t have a publicist and fear of failure is still very much alive in my personal life.”

That aside, the composer had inspiring words for his assembled peers, which ranged from veterans like Disney icon Richard Sherman, Mark Mothersbaugh and Alan Silvestri to the likes of Brian Tyler, Atticus Ross, Ludwig Goransson and Tom “Junkie XL” Holkenborg. Howard recalled his early days in the 1970s, when “I was a young anarchist chiefly concerned with making music of no discernible melody,” and read aloud from a letter of encouragement that Elmer Bernstein sent to him early in his career.

“Our job is to tell stories, and I hold this job as a precious thing,” he said. “Never regard your work as anything less than art, and remember that the old guys like me are here to cheer you on.”

Earlier in the evening, composer David Newman received BMI’s classic contribution award for his long work as a conductor performing film music in concert halls, and his work with the American Youth Symphony. After video testimonials from the likes of Silvestri and Variety contributor Jon Burlingame, Newman reminded the audience that, “This stuff (film scores) has an afterlife. I’ve worked with a lot of great orchestras who were not used to doing film music, and now they perform film music all the time. We’re ambassadors for Hollywood, and for film scoring.”

(Pictured: BMI CEO Mike O’Neill, David Newman, BMI VP 0f film and TV relations Doreen Ringer-Ross and James Newton Howard)

More Music

  • major r&b grammy fox star recurring

    R&B Artist MAJOR. Lands Recurring Role on Fox's 'Star' (EXCLUSIVE)

    R&B artist MAJOR. is on “cloud three million” right now. His track “Honest” scored a 2019 Grammy nomination for best traditional R&B performance, and, as he tells Variety exclusively, he recently landed a recurring role on Fox’s “Star.” The singer-songwriter, born Major Johnson Finley, is currently shooting the musical drama in Atlanta, and will make his [...]

  • Lars Ulrich

    Lars Ulrich on Paying Tribute to Chris Cornell, and Metallica's New Beer

    Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has been in the music industry long enough to remember when bands teaming with corporate brands was detrimental to a group’s image. “Remember 20, 25 years ago when the Who got a corporate sponsor for their tour? People said, ‘Ooh, they sold out, they have a sponsor.'” How times have changed. Speaking [...]

  • Childish Gambino Concert Review

    Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne to Headline 2019 Broccoli City Festival

    Childish Gambino — who made a surprise performance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series in Los Angeles last night — and Lil Wayne will headline the third annual Broccoli City Festival, taking place April 26-27 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, it was announced today. 6lack, Ella Mai, Lil Baby, Teyana Taylor, Wizkid, Gunna, City Girls and YBN [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series on Tuesday, held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis Mitchell, [...]

  • French Montana performingCelebrities at BASE Dubai,

    Gucci Mane, French Montana, Tiesto Tapped to Perform Super Bowl Weekend

    Gucci Mane, French Montana, Tiësto and Kaskade are among the artists headed to Atlanta at the end of the month as part of Super Bowl weekend festivities in the city. The four performers will be playing at The H.wood Group’s annual Bootsy Bellows “Big Game Experience” pop-up, taking place this year at the new live music venue, [...]

  • apple music

    Verizon Bundles Apple Music With Top-Tier Unlimited Wireless Plans for No Extra Charge

    Verizon has expanded its ties to Apple — offering wireless subscribers on its two most expensive unlimited plans access to the Apple Music for no extra charge. Starting Jan. 17, Apple Music will be included in Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans, the telco announced Tuesday. For Apple, the bundling agreement promises to augment [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content