The John Williams Award will be presented for the first time at the May 9 event in Beverly Hills with Williams as the inaugural recipient. It will not be handed out annually.
“John Williams is unequivocally one of the most iconic film and television composers of our time,” said Doreen Ringer-Ross, BMI VP Creative-Film, TV & Visual Media. “By continuing to create and add to his prolific body of work, he’s made a lasting impression on music lovers around the world, and an entire community of composers who he continues to inspire. Because of this, and for all that he has given the world of music and beyond, we felt it was appropriate to honor John with this special award.”
BMI previously honored Williams with The Kirk Award in 1999, which later became the BMI Icon Award, for composing some of the most popular and recognizable scores in cinematic history such as the Star Wars series, Jaws, Schindler’s List, the Indiana Jones series and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Since then, the five-time Oscar winner has created an equally impressive catalogue of scores for acclaimed films such as the first three Harry Potter films, Memoirs of a Geisha and Lincoln among others, and has continued to score the Star Wars series, including the forthcoming Star Wars Episode 9. Because of his incredible body of work since receiving BMI’s highest honor, the John Williams Award was created to pay tribute to his numerous career achievements which have made him one of the most recognized and decorated living film composers in modern history.
In addition to honoring Williams, award-winning composers Laura Karpman, Miriam Cutler and Lolita Ritmanis will receive the BMI Champion Award for their commitment to supporting fellow women media composers through The Alliance of Women Film Composers, which they founded in 2014.
Composer Rick Baitz will be presented with BMI’s Classic Contribution Award in appreciation of creating and leading BMI’s successful “Composing for the Screen” workshop for the past ten years.