Academy Award for Best Original Score

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Academy Award for Best Original Score
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Currently held by Ennio Morricone
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Official website oscars.org

The Academy Award for Best Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.[1]

Superlatives[edit]

These are only for nominations in the Scoring categories. Nominations in other categories, such as the Original Song category, are not included.

Category Name Superlative Notes
Most Awards Alfred Newman 9 awards Awards resulted from 41 nominations.
Most Nominations John Williams 50 nominations Nominations resulted in 5 awards.
Most Nominations without an Award Alex North 14 nominations

Only one composer has won two Scoring Oscars the same year: in 1973, Marvin Hamlisch won Original Dramatic Score for The Way We Were and Best Adaptation Score, for The Sting. Hamlisch also won Best Song that year for The Way We Were (song), making him the only composer to win three music Oscars in the same year.

Only one composer has won Oscars three years in a row: Roger Edens won for Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949) and Annie Get Your Gun (1950).

Eight composers have won Oscars two years in a row:

  1. Ray Heindorf won for Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and This is the Army (1943).
  2. Franz Waxman won for Sunset Boulevard (1950) and A Place in the Sun (1951).
  3. Alfred Newman won for With a Song in My Heart (1952) and Call Me Madam (1953). He won again for Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955) and The King and I (1956).
  4. Adolph Deutsch won for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and Oklahoma! (1955).
  5. André Previn won for Gigi (1958) and 1959's Porgy and Bess (1959). He won again for Irma La Douce (1963) and My Fair Lady (1964).
  6. Leonard Rosenman won for Barry Lyndon (1975) and Bound for Glory (1976).
  7. Alan Menken won for Beauty and The Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992).
  8. Gustavo Santaolalla won for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Babel (2006).

Female nominees[edit]

Three women have won in the scoring categories. Two are composers: Rachel Portman, who won for Emma (1996), and Anne Dudley, who won for The Full Monty (1997); the third, is lyricist Marilyn Bergman, who won for Yentl (1983) in the Original Song Score category, sharing the award with co-lyricist Alan Bergman (her husband) and composer Michel Legrand.

The only female composers nominated for multiple Scoring Oscars are Rachel Portman, who was nominated for Emma (1996) (for which she won for Best Original Score), The Cider House Rules (1999) and Chocolat (2000); and Angela Morley, who was nominated twice in the Original Song Score category for The Little Prince (1974) and The Slipper and the Rose (1976).

Notable nominees[edit]

Dmitri Shostakovich and Duke Ellington were both nominated the same year but lost to arrangers of West Side Story.

Because much of the music in film is usually classical music, the scores of Midnight Express by Giorgio Moroder in 1979, Slumdog Millionaire by A. R. Rahman in 2009, The Social Network in 2011 by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and Her by William Butler and Owen Pallett in 2014 are the only scores with electronic based music ever to be nominated, with the first three winning the award.

Noted nominated composers known for their music mostly outside of the film world include: Aaron Copland, Kurt Weill, Gian-Carlo Menotti, Philip Glass, John Corigliano, Peter Maxwell Davies, Randy Newman, Richard Rodney Bennett, Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Artie Shaw, Trent Reznor, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock.

Rock musicians and pop stars are most often nominated in the songwriting category. A handful that were nominated in the Scoring categories includes: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Prince, Pete Townshend, Rod McKuen, Isaac Hayes, Kris Kristofferson, Quincy Jones, Randy Newman, Anthony Newley, Paul Williams, Tom Waits, David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Trent Reznor and Matthew Wilder.

Record producers George Martin (the Beatles) and Jerry Wexler (Atlantic Records) also received nominations in the Scoring categories.

At the age of 87, Ennio Morricone became the oldest winner in Oscar history for a competitive award.[2][3]

Multiple nominations[edit]

The following is a list of composers nominated more than once and winning at least one Academy Award (in this category). This list is sorted by number of awards, with the number of total nominations listed in parentheses. These do not include nominations (or awards) in the Best Original Song category.

The following composers have been nominated for a Best Original Score Oscar more than once but have yet to garner one. The number of nominations is listed in parentheses. These do not include nominations (or awards) in the Best Original Song category.

Winners and nominees[edit]

The following is the list of nominated composers organized by year, and listing both films and composers. The years shown in the following list of winners are the production years, thus a reference to 1967 means the Oscars presented in 1968 for films released in 1967.

Note: From 1934–1937, the head of the music department (rather than the actual composer or composers, in most cases) received the nominations or award.

Note: From 1937–1945, any studio was guaranteed a nomination just by submitting a qualified entry.

1930s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
1934 One Night of Love  – Columbia Studio Music Department, Louis Silvers, head of department (Thematic Music by Victor Schertzinger and Gus Kahn)
1935 The Informer  – RKO Radio Studio Music Department, Max Steiner, head of department (Score by Max Steiner)
1936 Anthony Adverse  – Warner Bros. Studio Music Department, Leo F. Forbstein, head of department (Score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
1937 One Hundred Men and a Girl – Universal Studio Music Department, Charles Previn, head of department (no composer credit)
1938 Original Score:
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Musical Score:
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Alfred Newman
1939 Original Score:
The Wizard of Oz
Herbert Stothart
Musical Score:
Stagecoach
Richard Hageman, W. Franke Harling, John Leipold, Leo Shuken

1940s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
1940 Original Score:
Pinocchio
Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith, composers; Ned Washington, lyricist
Musical Score:
Tin Pan Alley
Alfred Newman
1941 Original Score:
All That Money Can Buy
Bernard Herrmann
Musical Score:
Dumbo
Frank Churchill, Oliver Wallace
1942 Original Score:
Now, Voyager
Max Steiner
Musical Score:
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Ray Heindorf, Heinz Roemheld
1943 Original Score:
The Song of Bernadette
Alfred Newman
Musical Score:
This Is the Army
Ray Heindorf
1944 Original Score:
Since You Went Away
Max Steiner
Musical Score:
Cover Girl
Morris Stoloff, Carmen Dragon
1945 Original Score:
Spellbound
Miklós Rózsa
Musical Score:
Anchors Aweigh
Georgie Stoll
1946 Original Score:
The Best Years of Our Lives
Hugo Friedhofer
Musical Score:
The Jolson Story
Morris Stoloff
1947 Original Score:
A Double Life
Miklós Rózsa
Musical Score:
Mother Wore Tights
Alfred Newman
1948 Original Score:
The Red Shoes
Brian Easdale
Musical Score:
Easter Parade
Johnny Green, Roger Edens
1949 Original Score:
The Heiress
Aaron Copland
Score of a Musical Picture:
On the Town
Roger Edens, Lennie Hayton

1950s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
1950 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Sunset Boulevard
Franz Waxman
Score of a Musical Picture:
Annie Get Your Gun
Adolph Deutsch, Roger Edens
1951 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
A Place in the Sun
Franz Waxman
Score of a Musical Picture:
An American in Paris
Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin
1952 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
High Noon
Dimitri Tiomkin
Score of a Musical Picture:
With a Song in My Heart
Alfred Newman
1953 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Lili
Bronislau Kaper
Score of a Musical Picture:
Call Me Madam
Alfred Newman
1954 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
The High and the Mighty
Dimitri Tiomkin
Score of a Musical Picture:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Adolph Deutsch, Saul Chaplin
1955 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
Alfred Newman
Score of a Musical Picture:
Oklahoma!
Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton, Adolph Deutsch
1956 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Around the World in 80 Days
Victor Young (posthumous award)
Score of a Musical Picture:
The King and I
Alfred Newman, Ken Darby
1957 Original Score:
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Malcolm Arnold
1958 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
The Old Man and the Sea
Dimitri Tiomkin
Score of a Musical Picture:
Gigi
André Previn
1959 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Ben-Hur
Miklós Rózsa
Score of a Musical Picture:
Porgy and Bess
André Previn, Ken Darby

1960s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees|-
1960 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Exodus
Ernest Gold
Score of a Musical Picture:
Song without End (The Story of Franz Liszt)
Morris Stoloff, Harry Sukman
1961 Score of a Musical Picture:
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Henry Mancini
Score of a Musical Picture:
West Side Story
Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, Irwin Kostal
1962 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Lawrence of Arabia
Maurice Jarre
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
The Music Man
Ray Heindorf
1963 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Tom Jones
John Addison
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
Irma la Douce
André Previn
1964 Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Mary Poppins
Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
My Fair Lady
André Previn
1965 Original Score:
Doctor Zhivago
Maurice Jarre
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
The Sound of Music
Irwin Kostal
1966 Original Score:
Born Free
John Barry
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Ken Thorne
1967 Original Score:
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Elmer Bernstein
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
Camelot
Alfred Newman, Ken Darby
1968 Original Score:
The Lion in Winter
John Barry
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
Oliver!
– Adaptation score by Johnny Green
1969 Original Score:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Burt Bacharach
Score of a Musical Picture (adaptation or treatment):
Hello, Dolly!
– Adaptation score by Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman

1970s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees|-
1970 Original Dramatic Score:
Love Story
Francis Lai
Original Song Score:
Let It Be
– Music and lyrics by The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr)
1971 Original Dramatic Score:
Summer of '42
Michel Legrand
Original Song Score and Adaptation:
Fiddler on the Roof
– Adaptation Score by John Williams
1972 Original Dramatic Score:
Limelight
Charlie Chaplin, Raymond Rasch (posthumous award), Larry Russell (posthumous award) (Note: This film was originally screened in 1952, but it was not shown in Los Angeles until 1972, at which point it become eligible for this nomination)
Original Song Score and Adaptation:
Cabaret
– Adaptation Score by Ralph Burns
1973 Original Dramatic Score:
The Way We Were
Marvin Hamlisch
Original Song Score and Adaptation:
The Sting
– Adaptation Score by Marvin Hamlisch
1974 Original Dramatic Score:
The Godfather Part II
Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola
Original Song Score and Adaptation:
The Great Gatsby
– Adaptation Score by Nelson Riddle
1975 Original Dramatic Score:
Jaws
John Williams
Original Song Score and Adaptation:
Barry Lyndon
– Adaptation Score by Leonard Rosenman
1976 Original Score:
The Omen
Jerry Goldsmith
Original Song or Adaptation Score:
Bound for Glory
– Adaptation Score by Leonard Rosenman
1977 Original Score:
Star Wars
John Williams
Original Song or Adaptation Score:
A Little Night Music
– Adaptation Score by Jonathan Tunick
1978 Original Score:
Midnight Express
Giorgio Moroder
Original Adaptation Score:
The Buddy Holly Story
Joe Renzetti
1979 Original Score:
A Little Romance
Georges Delerue
Original Song or Adaptation Score:
All That Jazz
– Adaptation Score by Ralph Burns

1980s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
1980 Fame
Michael Gore
1981 Chariots of Fire
Vangelis
1982 Original Score:
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
John Williams
Original Song or Adaptation Score:
Victor Victoria
– Song Score by Henry Mancini, Leslie Bricusse Adaptation Score by Henry Mancini
1983 Original Score:
The Right Stuff
Bill Conti
Original Song or Adaptation Score:
Yentl
– Song Score by Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman
1984 Original Score:
A Passage to India
Maurice Jarre
Original Song Score:
Purple Rain
Prince
1985 Out of Africa
John Barry
1986 Round Midnight
Herbie Hancock
1987 The Last Emperor
Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, Cong Su
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War
Dave Grusin
1989 The Little Mermaid
Alan Menken

1990s[edit]

Note: From 1995 to 1998, songwriters and lyricists along with orchestral underscore composers were also eligible for nominations in the "Musical or Comedy Score" category.[4]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
1990 Dances with Wolves
John Barry
1991 Beauty and the Beast
Alan Menken
1992 Aladdin
Alan Menken
1993 Schindler's List
John Williams
1994 The Lion King
Hans Zimmer
1995 Dramatic Score:
The Postman (Il Postino)
Luis Bacalov
Musical or Comedy Score:
Pocahontas
Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; Orchestral Score by Alan Menken
1996 Dramatic Score:
The English Patient
Gabriel Yared
Musical or Comedy Score:
Emma
Rachel Portman
1997 Dramatic Score:
Titanic
James Horner
Musical or Comedy Score:
The Full Monty
Anne Dudley
1998 Dramatic Score:
Life Is Beautiful
Nicola Piovani
Musical or Comedy Score:
Shakespeare in Love
Stephen Warbeck
1999 The Red Violin
John Corigliano

2000s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Tan Dun
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Howard Shore
2002 Frida
Elliot Goldenthal
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Howard Shore
2004 Finding Neverland
Jan A. P. Kaczmarek
2005 Brokeback Mountain
Gustavo Santaolalla
2006 Babel
Gustavo Santaolalla
2007 Atonement
Dario Marianelli
2008 Slumdog Millionaire
A. R. Rahman
2009 Up
Michael Giacchino

2010s[edit]

Year Winner
Composer
Nominees
2010 The Social Network
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
2011 The Artist
Ludovic Bource
2012 Life of Pi
Mychael Danna
2013 Gravity
Steven Price
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat
2015 The Hateful Eight
Ennio Morricone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rule Sixteen: Special Rules for the Best Picture of the Year Award | Rules for the 85th Academy Awards | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". Oscars.org. 2012-08-24. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  2. ^ "Oscar win at 87 may make Ennio Morricone the oldest winner ever". David Ng. Los Angeles Times. February 28, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Italy, Hollywood Celebrate Ennio Morricone's First Competitive Win". Ariston Anderson. Los Angeles Times. February 28, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Academy Awards Database - AMPAS". Awardsdatabase.oscars.org. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  5. ^ Lisa Gerrard and Klaus Badelt also received screen credit for music score, but only Zimmer was deemed eligible for the nomination.

External links[edit]