For the 19th year in a row, the World Soundtrack Awards were announced during Film Fest Gent. The World Soundtrack Awards, one of the most imporant film music awards, place an emphasis on the oeuvres of special contributors to the world of film music. This year's winners are Nicholas Britell, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Lady Gaga, Frédéric Vercheval, Michael Abels, John Powell and Pierre Charles. Frédéric Devreese and Krzysztof Penderecki were both honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
After winning the Discovery of the Year Award in 2017, Nicholas Britell took home another award this year: he was named Film Composer of the Year by the World Soundtrack Academy for his soundtrack for 'If Beale Street Could Talk'.
The prize for Television Composer of the Year went to special guest and Emmy winner Hildur Guðnadóttir, who created the score for the popular HBO series 'Chernobyl'. Last year, Guðnadóttir was one of the Discovery of the Year nominees for 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado'. In the meantime, both Britell and Guðnadóttir have made a name for themselves worldwide with their scores for the HBO series 'Succession' and Todd Philips' 'Joker' respectively.
The prize for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film was awarded to the track 'Shallow' from 'A Star Is Born'. This composition was written by Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson, and was performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
African-American composer Michael Abels was named Discovery of the Year for the score he created for Jordan Peele's 'Us'. The pair had already collaborated before on the film 'Get Out'.
In the category of Best Original Score for a Belgian Production, Belgian Frédéric Vercheval was awarded for his score for Olivier Masset-Depasse's 'Duelles'. The composer has already been nominated four times for the Magritte Award for Best Original Score for 'Diamant 13' (2009), 'Krach' (2010), 'Not My Type' (2014) and 'Melody' (2014).
Young American jazz pianist and composer Pierre Charles won the SABAM Award for the Most Original Composition by a Young International Composer. The Public Choice Award went to John Powell for his music in Dean Deblois' 'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World'.
As previously announced, Krzysztof Penderecki was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Polish composer undoubtedly put his mark on film music history with his innovative and unconventional music. He collaborated with world famous directors such as Stanley Kubrick ('The Shining'), David Lynch ('Inland Empire', 'Twin Peaks'), Martin Scorsese ('Shutter Island') and William Friedkin ('The Exorcist').
Frédéric Devreese was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award. In light of his 90th birthday, Brussels Philharmonic honoured the father of Belgian film music. Devreese is known for his collaboration with André Delvaux on Palme D'or nominee 'L'oeuvre au noir', but also 'Du bout des lèvres' (Jean-Marie Degèsves) and 'Les Noces Barbares' and 'Il Maëstro' (Marion Hänsel).
During the award ceremony, compositions were performed live by Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by maestro Dirk Brossé, with accompanying clips on the big screen. Guest of honour this year was Marco Beltrami, known for his horror scores including the 'Scream' franchise. He recently composed the music for box office hit 'A Quiet Place', nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Score, Netflix's 'Velvet Buzzsaw' and Oscar-winning National Geographic documentary 'Free Solo', for which he received an Emmy Award.
If you could not make it to the World Soundtrack Awards, there is still a possibility to enjoy the collaboration between Marco Beltrami and Brussels Philharmonic. Following our annual tradition, a selection of our guest of honour's masterpieces were recorded with MotorMusic in Flagey's legendary Studio 4. The result is the album 'Marco Beltrami: Music for Film', featuring unique suites from 'Snowpiercer', 'World War Z', 'A Quiet Place', and other scores.