Maestro Elmer Bernstein was honored November 8th by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in celebration of his 50th Anniversary of film scoring. Carl Reiner emceed the evening that included a variety of hosted segments covering drama, westerns, comedy, jazz, epic and a special section featuring his projects with Martin Scorsese.
Among those who addressed the SRO audience were directors John Landis (“Animal House,” “An American Werewolf in London” and “Trading Places,” among others), Carl Franklin (“Devil in a Blue Dress”), actor James Coburn (“The Magnificent Seven”), producer Noel Pearson (“My Left Foot,” “The Field”), musician and film composer Terence Blanchard (commenting on the jazz scores such as “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Walk on the Wild Side,” among others). Also included with those saluting Mr. Bernstein were Cece Presley, granddaughter of Cecil B. DeMille (Mr. DeMille defied the gray list and hired Bernstein for “The Ten Commandments”) and actress Winona Ryder, who, in addition to relaying her experience with Bernstein and his music for “The Age of Innocence,” read a letter of tribute by director Martin Scorsese. (Click here for the complete text of Scorsese’s tribute).
Clips from many of his more than 200 film and television scores were shown, followed by a warm and humorous onstage chat with friend and event host Reiner, an Academy member who saluted the success of the evening by leaving his $3.00 as he and the Maestro departed the stage.
Photos courtesy Long Photography, with permission by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.