Alumni nominated for 2019 Emmy Awards

Marco Beltrami. Photo courtesy of the artist

In the National Geographic documentary film Free Solo, by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold attempts to climb El Capitan—a 3,000-foot, perfectly vertical granite wall in Yosemite National Park—without ropes or safety gear of any kind. The music for Free Solo, by YSM alumnus Marco Beltrami ’91MM and Brandon Roberts, is full of tension and solemnity and connects viewers to the determination Honnold has in surplus and the protective fear he seems inexplicably not to have. The film’s cinematography offers all the perspective a viewer needs to appreciate that there is absolutely no room for error in the challenge Honnold has undertaken, while the music is full of the consequences he faces. For their contributions to the film, Beltrami and Roberts have been nominated for a 2019 Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score)” category.

Thomas Newman. Photo courtesy of the artist

Thomas Newman ’77BA ’78MM is also up for a 2019 Emmy Award. Newman’s score for the Hulu series Castle Rock, created by Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason and inspired by the fictional setting Stephen King created for many of his stories, was nominated in the “Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music” category. Newman’s foreboding music is a confirmation of what’s already known: that uncomfortable and frightening things await the viewer in Castle Rock.

Beltrami and Newman work in the world of film and television scoring, adding dimensions to stories that aim at the visceral. In addition to Free Solo, Beltrami has scored the Scream movies, A Quiet Place, and the 2019 TV series The Twilight Zone, to name just a handful. This Emmy nomination is his second. Newman has composed music for The Shawshank RedemptionRevolutionary RoadThe Help, and many other films. This Emmy nomination is his third. He won an Emmy in 2002 for his theme music for HBO’s Six Feet Under. For Beltrami and Newman, whose often-anonymous music has its audiences in movie theaters and living rooms around the world, awards like the Emmy are a public round of applause.

Winners of the 2019 Emmy Awards will be announced on Sunday, September 22.

Featured photo: Alex Honnold makes the first free solo ascent of El Capitan’s Freerider in Yosemite National Park, Calif. (National Geographic/Jimmy Chin)

Published August 2, 2019
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[ faculty + alumni ]

David Lang, Thomas Newman receive Oscar nominations

David Lang, composer

David Lang, composer

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. MORE

Published January 21, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Sony Classical to Release Thomas Newman’s “He Named Me Malala” Soundtrack

ThomasNewmanSony Classical will release the official soundtrack album for the documentary He Named Me Malala, featuring music by Academy Award-nominated composer and Yale alumnus Thomas Newman ’77BA, ’78MM. To be released on October 2, 2015, the album is now available for pre-order via Amazon.

He Named Me Malala is directed by Davis Guggenheim and tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived a Taliban assassination attempt to become an outspoken, globally recognized advocate for girl’s rights.The documentary is set to premiere next month at the Toronto Film Festival and will be released on October 2, 2015 by Fox Searchlight. MORE

Published September 25, 2015
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[ alumni ]

Grammy nominations for YSM alumni include Thomas Newman, William Christie

a-far-cryThe album Dreams and Prayers was nominated for a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. The album features clarinetist David Krakauer and the ensemble A Far Cry, whose members include Miki-Sophia Cloud ’08MM as well as cellist Andrea Lee ’04BA. Cloud also curated the album; read the story behind Dreams and Prayers here.

Composer Thomas Newman ’77BA, ’78MM was nominated for his score to Saving Mr. Banks.

William Christie ’69MM was the conductor of the performance nominated for Best Opera Recording: Rameau’s Hippolyte Et Aricie, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Glyndebourne Chorus. MORE

Published December 11, 2014
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[ alumni ]

Hollywood film composer Thomas Newman releases collaborative album with Rick Cox


Thomas Newman, composer

Thomas Newman ’77BA, ’78MM and Rick Cox released the album 35 Whirlpools Below Sound on Cold Blue Music in October. This jointly composed and performed collection of 19 electro-acoustic works has been slowly developing over time. Newman, a 12-time Oscar nominee and six-time Grammy winner, and noted new-music composer/performer Rick Cox have been collaborating for 25 years.

The music has been called both enigmatic and eclectic, exploring a somewhat improvisational world through its series of sometimes interlinked, sometimes contrasting pieces built of often mysterious and fantastical juxtapositions of sounds.

Newman is a highly regarded film-music composer (WALL-E, The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty) who has also written non-film-related works for such ensembles as the Kronos Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. While at Yale, Newman studied with Jacob Druckman, Bruce MacCombie, and Robert Moore. MORE

Published October 28, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Oscar Concert: Inaugural event to honor 2014 nominated composers


After 85 years, Oscar is putting on his very first concert, and there are plans to televise future shows worldwide.

The motion picture academy will present a live Oscar Concert in the days leading up to the 86th annual Academy Awards that celebrates the year’s nominated music. The Feb. 27 concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall will feature all five original scores performed by an 80-piece orchestra conducted by each nominated composer, plus performances of the four original songs up for Oscars this year. MORE

Published February 13, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Album review: “Saving Mr. Banks” soundtrack

Thomas Newman

By John Stanley

In the 20 years that Alfred Newman (1901-70) was head of 20th Century Fox’s music department, he scored 200 movies, earned 45 Oscar nominations and took home nine Academy Awards. He also had a son. As of today, Thomas Newman has garnered 12 Oscar nominations of his own as a motion picture composer, but no wins. That could change March 2, when he’ll find out if his latest nomination — for the “Saving Mr. Banks” score — turns into gold.

Thomas’ music is alive with the kind of emotion his father (once described as the “godfather” of cinema soundtracks) brought to such films as “The Captain From Castile” and “How to Marry a Millionaire.” In telling the story about how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) persuaded reluctant and mean-spirited author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to give him the movie rights to “Mary Poppins,” “Saving Mr. Banks” allowed Newman to re-create many of the songs brothers Richard and Robert Sherman wrote for the “Poppins” movie, presented in the new film as demo pieces[…] But there are also Newman’s original contributions, adding depth to the dramatic flashbacks of Travers’ alcoholic father and the introduction of the woman who would later inspire the Poppins character.


Published February 6, 2014
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[ alumni ]

Yale alumni victorious at Grammys


Roomful of Teeth 

On January 26, 2014, several Yale School of Music alumni won Grammy awards. Thomas Newman ’77BA, ’78MM won Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the James Bond film Skyfall, and Brad Wells ’05DMA and his ensemble Roomful of Teeth won Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their self-titled debut album.

Roomful of Teeth is a vocal ensemble founded and directed by Wells, whose members include alumni Estelí Gomez ’08BA, Caroline Shaw ’07MM, Eric Dudley ’03MM, ’04MMA, ’11DMA, Dashon Burton ’11MM, and Virginia Warnken ’13MM. The group performed at the pre-telecast ceremony; the video is online here, with the ensemble’s performance at about 1:09. MORE

Published January 27, 2014
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[ alumni ]

Alum Thomas Newman nominated for Academy Award

ThomasNewmanComposer Thomas Newsman ’77 BA, ’78 MM has received an Ocscar nomination for his score to “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Newman has been nominated eleven times previously, for his scores to films including “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.

In 2000, Newman was honored with the Richard Kirk award at the BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.

WQXR host David Garland noted recently that Newman has “contributed impressively and distinctly to the field of film scores,” having established “a personal sound and style in an arena that sometimes seems to prefer chameleon-like adaptability.”


Published January 21, 2014
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