The remarks below are from Charles Bernstein’s introduction at the 2013 SCL Holiday Dinner:
Bill Conti has scored over a hundred feature films and in the process worked with some iconic directors: Paul Mazursky (Blume In Love, Harry and Tonto, Next Stop Greenwich Village, An Unmarried Woman), John Cassavetes (Gloria, Big Trouble), John Huston (Victory), James L. Brooks (Broadcast News Howard Zieff Private Benjamin Unfaithfully Yours Norman Jewison: ( F.I.S.T.), John Frankenheimer ( The Fourth War, Year of the Gun), Taylor Hackford (Blood in, Blood Out), Costa-?Gavras (Betrayed), John McTiernan (Nomads, The Thomas Crown Affair) …and his life-long collaboration with John Avildsen on films like Slow Dancing in the Big City, The Karate Kid (and the sequels), The Formula, Neighbors, Lean On Me, 8 Seconds, For Keeps. And of course… Rocky … the song from which “GONNA FLY NOW” was a #1 hit on the Billboard charts in 1977. Then there are his TV themes: Dynasty, Falcon Crest, The Colbys, Cagney & Lacey, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, American Gladiators, Primetime Live, and Inside Edition. And,a slew of TV movies and mini-?series:North & South (plus 2 sequels), Napoleon and Josephine, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story, An American Tragedy, and Winchell. He’s had three Academy Award nominations winning in 1984 for his score to “The Right Stuff”, a five–time Emmy winner from 13 nominations, three Golden Globe nominations and a Grammy nomination for “For your Eyes Only”. He’s received 13 ASCAP Awards including the prestigious Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award, the ASMAC Golden Stave Award and like Randy, he is a member the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He’s also been musical director of the Academy Awards presentation a record 19 times. He is in constant demand as a concert conductor and currently in his first season as pops conductor of the San Diego Symphony. I could go about his accomplishments all night, but one of his most endearing qualities is his sincere interest in mentoring and nurturing young composers in whom he sees potential. I know, because I was one of them. Ladies and gentleman, please give a warm welcome to my dear friend, Bill Conti.
The video retrospective below includes an interview with Bill Conti as he discusses the creation of the score for Rocky. The presentation is highlighted by several clips from his body of work.
The video also concludes with a visual of the SCL’s new Lifetime Achievement Award designed by our Media Chair and board member, Ron Grant.