Two composers who studied at YSM are among the nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards: David Lang '83 MMA, '89 DMA, a member of the Yale composition faculty, and Thomas Newman '77 BA, '78 MM, a widely respected film composer.
David Lang '83 MMA, '89 DMA, a member of the composition faculty, was nominated in the category of Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song) for the “Simple Song No. 3” from the movie Youth. Lang wrote the music and lyrics; during the lead-up to the Golden Globes (for which he was also nominated), he spoke to The Atlantic about his "unusual text-assembly method" — using Google searches to suggest phrases.
An article in the Wrap noted, "Yale professor David Lang is a highbrow composer with a taste for the bizarre, and an artist who has smuggled difficult work into mass culture. 'Paradoxically, people are willing to hear stranger things in film than in the real world — film audiences are more open to music than a music audience is,' said Lang." The Winnipeg Free Press talked to Lang about his reaction to the news of the nomination:
'I was really shocked. And I wasn’t really ready,' the New York-based musician, 59, who also won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize and 2010 Grammy Award for The Little Match Girl Passion, says over the phone. 'I woke up early and thought I’d have 20 minutes to relax and poured a big cup of coffee. And then they announced the best song category first, and I jumped up and spilled my coffee and it was ridiculous.'"
Thomas Newman '77 BA, '78 MM, composer of the soundtrack to "Bridge of Spies," was nominated in the category of Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score). This is Newman's thirteenth Oscar nomination, for his scores to films including "Saving Mr. Banks," "The Shawshank Redemption," "American Beauty," and "WALL-E." He has won two BAFTAs, five Grammys and an Emmy, and has been nominated for three Golden Globes.