Variety Film music composer Jon Burlingame has been named among the winners of the 2021 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor / Virgil Thomson Awards, presented by a jury of experts for outstanding music coverage in the form of print, broadcast, ratings cover art or new media.
Burlingame won the ASCAP Paul Williams Foundation’s “Loved the Liner Notes” award for his 4000-word essay included in a recent expanded reissue of the soundtrack to the film “Midnight Cowboy” on Quartet Records. Burlingame – also host of “Disney for Scores” Podcast and a prolific sleeve note writer, as well as journalist and teacher – is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on film music.
Among the other recipients, New York Times writer Daphne A. Brooks won the award for an article in the field of pop for “100 years ago ‘Crazy Blues’ sparked a revolution for fans of black women.”
Another award for a New York Times article – this one for Outstanding Music Criticism in the Field of Concert Music – went to writer Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim for the article “Part Teacher, Part Den Mother, A Composer Fosters Diversity ”, an article about the career and mentorship of Gabriela Lena Frank, composer and educator in California.
The honor for an article in the field of concert music was awarded to Aaron Flagg for the article “Anti-Black Discrimination in American Orchestras”, published in Symphony magazine.
Ted Gioia won the honor of Outstanding Music Critic in Pop for “The Music Critic Who Tryed to Disappear,” an appraisal by jazz critic Whitney Balliett that appeared in the City Journal.
Fat Possum Records and No Sudden Movements received a TV broadcast award for “Memphis ’69”, a documentary about the 1969 Memphis Country Blues Festival which is now available on YouTube.
Frank J. Oteri of New Music USA’s “New Music Box” won a broadcast award for his podcast “Valerie Coleman: Writing Music for People”.
Finally, the Deems Taylor / Virgil Thomson Special Recognition Award went to John Kruth for the article “Ceremonies Against the Virus: Bachir Attar of the Master Musicians of Jajouka”, published by Please Kill Me, an online journal,
The 2021 awards jury consisted of ASCAP members Michelle DiBucci, Paul Yeon Lee, Terry Radigan and Dom Flemons, with input from Jim Steinblatt.
The awards were established in 1967 in memory of composer, critic and commentator Deems Taylor, who served as ASCAP president for six years before his death in 1966. The ASCAP Foundation is supported in the effort by the Virgil Thomson Foundation, named after a prominent composer who was a member of the ASCAP board of directors before his death in 1989.