Berklee Celebrates BMI Day with Black Panther Composer Ludwig Göransson
Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther) and Mike Steinberg, executive vice president of creative and licensing for BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), joined Berklee on Monday, November 9, in virtual celebration to commemorate the college’s annual BMI Day. At the event, Steinberg and Göransson copresented this year’s BMI Film Scoring Scholarship to student composer Xiyue “Diana” Lizhao of Beijing, China.
“For more than 20 years, BMI has provided scholarships to financially support emerging composers from Berklee’s prestigious film scoring undergraduate program,” said Steinberg. “This film scoring scholarship supports Berklee’s commitment to developing the talent of these student composers so they can focus on honing their craft and creating the music we all enjoy. I’m thrilled that Ludwig Göransson was able to join me today in presenting the scholarship to such a gifted and talented young composer.”
The first BMI Film Scoring Scholarship was presented in 1998 by composer Michael Kamen. It is awarded each year to a student selected by the Film Scoring Department based on the student’s musical ability, financial need, and potential for career success.
"The Film Scoring Department is tremendously grateful for all that BMI and Mike Steinberg have done to support our students,” said Sean McMahon, department chair. "Our relationship with Mike and BMI is the most important external relationship we have, and BMI Day is one of the biggest days of the year in the department. We are so appreciative to Ludwig Göransson for delivering the keynote and presenting the BMI award to Diana Lizhao in our virtual ceremony this year.”
About Xiyue “Diana” Lizhao
Raised in a family of classical musicians, Lizhao pursued her own passions while in middle school after discovering the world of movies. As a teen, films such as Mulholland Drive, Atonement, Memento, Requiem for a Dream, and others showed her the importance of music in a visual medium. She was captured by how the scores in these films created emotions for the audience, even outside of prestige acting.
Lizhao originally came to the United States from China to explore other scholarly opportunities, but ultimately found her way to Berklee after two years. A double major in film scoring and contemporary writing and production, Lizhao is using her courses to understand the foundation of composition that is needed to become a film scorer. She is also currently taking filmmaking and film industry courses through New York University to further understand the art form. She has participated in the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, and worked as a concert arranger for global superstars Karen Mok and A-Lin. Lizhao plans to further her film scoring studies at the University of Southern California and ultimately work as a freelance film scorer in New York or Los Angeles.
About Ludwig Göransson
This year’s BMI composer honoree, Ludwig Göransson, has scored dozens of film and television programs to tremendous acclaim. As a producer and songwriter, he has also worked with Childish Gambino, Vince Staples, Alicia Keys, Selah Sue, and Moses Sumney, among many others. Göransson received the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media and the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work on the blockbuster film Black Panther.