“Cold Mountain” composer Gabriel Yared was the big winner in the World Soundtrack Awards, picking up prizes for composer of the year and best soundtrack during ceremonies Saturday (Oct. 9) at the 31st Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium.
Lebanese-born Oscar-winner Yared (“The English Patient”) accepted his awards from British composer David Arnold and France’s Maurice Jarre, who are serving on the film jury. In brief remarks in French, Yared, whose “Cold Mountain” score won the 2004 British Film Academy music award and was nominated for an Academy Award, praised the Flanders event for its long support of film music.
Oscar-winning lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman received a lifetime achievement award from British record producer George Martin, who said: “It’s a very tough task to write a really brilliant song and they have mastered the element of simplicity that moves the heart.”
Marilyn Bergman, president/chairman of ASCAP, thanked the many composers and filmmakers the pair have collaborated with, naming Sydney Pollack, Norman Jewison, Mark Rydell and Barbra Streisand. Alan Bergman provided one of the highlights of the evening by performing two of their Oscar-winning songs, “Windmills of My Mind” from “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “The Way We Were,” with scenes from those films screening behind him.
Lyricist Don Black, an Oscar-winner for “Born Free,” paid tribute to his friend and frequent collaborator Elmer Bernstein, who died earlier this year. Belgian conductor Dirk Brosse led the Flemish Radio Orchestra in playing themes from Oscar-winner Bernstein’s scores to “The Great Escape,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Magnificent Seven.”
Two other major film composers who died in 2004 were also saluted with suites featuring David Raksin’s “Laura” and Michael Kamen’s “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.” The film music of Jerry Goldsmith, who also died this year, will feature in a tribute concert at the festival on Thursday.
Also at the awards presentation, John Williams’ score for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” won the public choice award and Santaollala Gustavo was named discovery of the year for his score for “21 Grams.” Sting’s “You Will Be My Ain True Love” from “Cold Mountain” was named best song.
Belgian artists Sioen and Wim Mertens also performed and Steven Prengels received the prize for the best young Belgian composer for an original score he wrote for the animated short silent film “Le Reveil Tam-Tam.”