Berklee Today

Berklee Beat:
Alumni Shine at 2002 Awards Shows

Howard Shore '69, Oscar in hand, arrives at a post-awards show party with his wife Elizabeth
Photo by Reuters/Jim Ruyman

This year's awards shows represented an outstanding year for Berklee alumni. While it isn't unusual to see some of the more familiar names among each year's nominees and winners, this year's showing may well be one of the most memorable in recent years.

The Academy Awards, the best known of all entertainment awards, has only two music categories. So it is particularly notable that this year's winner for Best Original Score was Howard Shore '68 for his music in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Shore, the first Berklee composer to win the coveted award, is slated to score the movie's sequels. On the technical side, Michael Semanick '85 received an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Sound for his mixing work on The Lord of the Rings.

Among this year's Grammy Awards winners were Alan Silvestri '70 in the category of Best Instrumental Composition for the end credits for the film Cast Away. Quincy Jones '51 scored in the Best Spoken Word Album category for The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. Gillian Welch '92 won as an artist in the Best Album of the Year category for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen '91 in the Album of the Year category for the same recording. Lurssen's award is particularly notable as this was the first year the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has recognized mastering engineers in the same category honoring album producers and engineers.

Among those who were nominated for Grammy Awards were Aerosmith (featuring guitarist Brad Whitford '71 and drummer Joey Kramer '71) for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Album, and Best Short-form Video; Melissa Etheridge '80 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance; Steve Vai '79 for Best Rock Instrumental; Gary Burton '62 for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo; Roy Hargrove '89 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album; Mike Stern '75 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album; Jacky Terrasson '86 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album; Susan Tedeschi '91 for Best Traditional Blues Album; and Michael Drexler '96 for Best Historical Album. As mentioned previously, Gillian Welch won a Grammy for her work on the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and received two additional nominations in the Best Country Collaboration and Best Contemporary Folk Album categories.

Berklee alumni were also strongly represented in the recent Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards. Sound editor David Van Slyke '82 won for his work on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Tim Isle '95 won for sound editing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Tim also received a nomination for Angel); music editor David Bondelevitch '85 won for the Showtime movie Ruby's Bucket of Blood (as well as a nomination for his music editing in the movie Black Knight); Steven Lotwis '83 won for his vocal editing in the hit movie Moulin Rouge. Lawrence Shragge '77 received a nomination as music editor on Disney's Jett Jackson: The Movie. Lawrence was also the composer for the movie.

All in all, a banner year to date, with the Emmys yet to come.

—Peter Gordon