WSA Discovery of the Year nominees announced

The World Soundtrack Awards have named the five nominees for their Discovery of the Year Award for 2011, to be presented during the 11th annual celebration and concert to be held at the end of the Ghent Film Festival in Belgium on Oct. 22.

The WSA presents the award each year to reward young talented composers and encourage them to develop further. The nominees are Alex Heffes for “The First Grader” and “The Rite”; the Chemical Brothers for “Hanna”; iZLER for “Hamill” and “Natural Selection”; Henry Jackman for “Gulliver’s Travels” and “X-Men: First Class”; and Christopher Paul Leonard-Morgan for “Limitless”.

Here’s what the WSA had to say about the nominees.

Alex Heffes wrote the music for, among others, the films “One Day in September” and “The Last King of Scotland”, both of which were Oscar winners. He has collaborated with Simon Boswell on more than 20 films and also counts Elton John and the boys from Blur among his colleagues. Heffes is competing here with his work for “The First Grader” and “The Rite”.

The Chemical Brothers need no introduction. This British dance group made its breakthrough in the noughties with a striking sound which is a mix of house and other styles. They also spent weeks at the top of the Belgian charts with hits such as “Galvanize”, “Do it Again” and “Hey Boy, Hey Girl”. At the WSA, they will compete for the Discovery of the Year Award with their soundtrack for “Hanna”.

iZLER is a Czech composer who grew up in England. He has collaborated with a range of composers including Marco Beltrami, and he has written music for several films and TV shows such as ER. iZLER has worked with several global stars including Robbie Williams, Ryan Adams and Kylie Minogue to mention just a few. He will compete in Ghent with “Hamill” and “Natural Selection”.

There is a very good chance that you have already heard music by Henry Jackman. He collaborated with his mentor, Hans Zimmer, on the music for “The Da Vinci Code”, “The Dark Knight”, “Kung Fu Panda” and various other films. Jackman has been composing alone since 2009, primarily for major Hollywood productions. With the music for “Gulliver’s Travels” and “X-Men: First Class”, Jackman also has a chance to scoop the Discovery of the Year Award.

Finally there is the Scot Christopher Paul Leonard-Morgan, who composes film music and also writes music for television programmes. He won a BAFTA award with his composition for “Pineapple”. In 2008, he was selected by the United States Olympic Committee to compose their Olympic song. He is the fifth contender for the Discovery of the Year Award with the music he composed for “Limitless”.

The winner of this award will get the opportunity to perform at the 12th WSA. At this year’s event, the Brussels Philharmonic – Flemish Radio Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé will perform music by Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and Elliot Goldenthal. There also will be a few award-winning scores from disco king disco Giorgio Moroder as well as work by Abel Korzeniowski, winner of the Discovery and Public Choice Awards in 2010 (“A Single Man”).

The World Soundtrack Awards, which take place for the 11th time this year, are an annual celebration for everyone who loves film music. In addition to the Discovery of the Year Award, there also is an award for the best composer and the best composition (best song and best soundtrack).

These prizes are awarded by the World Soundtrack Academy, which is made up of 313 members from the international world of film music. There is also the Public Choice Award, which is elected through the website.

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