Composer Volker Bertelmann won the Academy Award for best score at the 2023 Oscars, for his musical accompaniment to the war film remake All Quiet on the Western Front.
Bertelmann’s win marks the second consecutive year that the award has gone to a German composer, following Hans Zimmer’s 2022 win for Dune. Movie and TV stars John Cho and Mindy Kaling presented the award, prompting the house orchestra in performing musical illustrations of some of the emotions from the five nominees.
“Thanks to the Academy for this huge recognition,” Bertelmann began his acceptance speech. “When I was working on the film, I was thinking a couple of times of my mom, because she was telling me every now and then — when you want to change humanity and empathy in the world, you have to start by yourself and your own surroundings. Because you learn by that, and you can show actually… how we all can live together. So by working on a film like that, you always are deeply touched.”
Bertelmann then went on to thank his wife, his kids, his collaborators and his fellow nominees, and “last but not least… all of you for this wonderful evening.”
All Quiet on the Western Front is nominated for nine Academy Awards at the 2023 ceremonies, including best picture, best visual effects and best adapted screenplay. The win for best score was the film’s fourth on the evening, following earlier victories in the best international film, best cinematography and best production design categories.