Ennio Morricone’s eccentric sound effects in Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, John William’s ominous dun dun in Spielberg’s Jaws and Alexandre Desplat’s bright, plucky strings in Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel – the right soundtrack can help immortalize a movie, or, for that matter, a television show. All three of these legendary composers have been celebrated by the World Soundtrack Academy, which this year turns its ear towards the music of our current Golden Age of Television.
Leading composers of this exciting era Jeff Russo (Fargo), Sean Callery (24, Homeland), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), David Arnold (Sherlock) and Max Richter (The Leftovers) will all attend opening night on Wednesday October 19th, some of them poised to accompany the Brussels Philharmonic and the Flemish Radio Choir in what is often the first live performance of their beloved soundtracks. With Jeff Russo taking on the drums for his Emmy-nominated Fargo score, master of suspense Sean Callery playing piano on the Homeland score and Jeff Beal taking the stage for House of Cards, the names defining modern television’s sound will be showing off their musical chops in Ghent. Both Callery and Beal are nominated in the brand-new category of Best TV Composer.
On the motion picture side we find Academy Award winners Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight, La Corrispondenza, En mai fais ce qu’il te plaît) and John Williams (Star Wars: Episode VII and The BFG) duking it out for Film Composer of the Year alongside Carol’s Carter Burwell, Steve Jobs’ Daniel Pemberton and Bridge of Spies’ Thomas Newman. Sam Smith, another Oscar laureate, is part of the Best Original Song competition with Writing’s On the Wall for Spectre. Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Babel, The Revenant) will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lending extra grandeur to the awards gala will be the festival’s move to the Capitole Gent, a neoclassical concert hall in the historic city center.
For the very first time – following its recent resolution for ‘less ceremony and more music’ – the WSA has added a second day of concerts. On the 20th of October the gala and award ceremony are done away with for a repeat performance of contemporary television’s best scores and an additional trip down memory lane. Musical nostalgia rules during the extra program that is set to celebrate legendary soundtracks, from Dallas and Dynasty to Mission Impossible and Star Trek. The cherry on the cake is a big screen above the orchestra that will feature fragments of the shows that have been grifted into collective memory. Get your tickets here.
Wednesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 20th at Capitole, Graaf Van Vlaanderenplein 5, Ghent, Belgium, +32 3 400 69 99