OAF News

Composer Mychael Danna Wins the 2014 Louis Applebaum Composers Award

Toronto - December 16, 2014 – Composer Mychael Danna is the 2014 recipient of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award. This year’s $10,000 award recognizes excellence in a body of work by an artist in the field of music composition for film and television.

Mychael Danna,
2014 Recipient of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award

Mychael Danna is an Academy Award-winning film composer recognized for his evocative blending of non-western traditions with orchestral and electronic music. He composed the transculturally inspired 2013 Oscar and Golden Globe-winning score for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, as well as many award-winning scores for his longtime collaborator, Atom Egoyan. Danna has composed for all of Egoyan’s films since 1987’s Family Viewing, winning the Genie for their films Exotica, Felicia’s Journey, Ararat and The Sweet Hereafter. Other noted credits include Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films such as Moneyball, Capote, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Monsoon Wedding, Shattered Glass, Little Miss Sunshine, (500) Days of Summer, Surf’s Up, Water, Antwone Fisher, Being Julia and Girl, Interrupted.


 “The most gratifying filmmaking experiences are ones that take effort to unpeel the layers surrounding the heart of the story and to find the best musical expression of that heart,” says Danna. “Those are always the film scores I am most proud of.”

The jury members stated that, “Mychael Danna’s music is beautiful, sensitive, refined and highly original. His music not only expresses what is seen and said but creates a deeper emotional response to the narrative. The effect is fully engaging. Mychael Danna’s contribution to the art form is profound. He is a Hollywood ‘A-list’ composer who gives back to the community and his peers, unselfishly.”

Mychael has generously decided to gift this award to the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, where Mychael was the inaugural Louis Applebaum Distinguished Visitor in Film Composition at the University of Toronto in 2011.

“I am thrilled to be honoured with this award, named for a man who blazed the path for Canadian composers of film, television, and theatre music,” says Danna. “I immediately thought of my alma mater the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, which was so significant in the establishment of my career in film music. Louis Applebaum inspired my generation with our first steps, and so it makes me very happy to pass this forward to aid in the training of the next generation of composers here in Canada."

The Louis Applebaum Composers Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation in 1998 by Louis Applebaum to recognize excellence in music composition of any genre. Canadian composer Louis Applebaum devoted his life to the cultural awakening of Canada, and this magnificent obsession drove him to become a founder of the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. He was an instrumental figure in the early development of the National Film Board, the Stratford Festival and the National Arts Centre.

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process. The award was selected by a jury comprised of Maxime Goulet, composer (Montreal), Paul Hoffert, composer, educator, author and chair of the Screen Composers Guild (Toronto), and Lea Marin, film producer (Toronto).

Previous recipients of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award include: Dean Burry (composition for young people) David Virelles (jazz), James Rolfe (theatre, music theatre, dance or opera), Alexina Louie and Alex Pauk (film and television), and R. Murray Schaefer (lifetime achievement).  


For more information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director
Ontario Arts Foundaiton

416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2013-2014, the OAF paid over $2.7 million in endowment income and $200,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2013-2014, the  OAC funded 1,737 individual artists and 1,095 organizations in 223 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.1 million.

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