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The World Soundtrack Academy (WSA, or World Soundtrack Awards), launched in 2001 by the Film Fest Gent, is aimed at organizing and overseeing the educational, cultural and professional aspects of the art of film music, including the preservation of the history of the soundtrack and its worldwide promotion. The event takes place yearly in Ghent, Belgium with the ceremony usually at the Capitole Concert Hall. Usually, the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by maestro Dirk Brossé performs the awarded music at the ceremony.
The three main categories are:
Brussels Philharmonic conducted by maestro Dirk Brossé performs fragments from several scores during the awards ceremony at the Kuipke in Ghent. Usually, the winner of the WSAward of Composer of the Year is invited to the ceremony's next edition to perform a concert with his music.
Seminars for and with film music professionals, colloquia and concerts are also being organized next to the gala evening. There are also CD releases (with live concerts by Hans Zimmer, George Fenton and Georges Delerue) and the book Moving Music (by Lannoo - Tielt) that was published in 2005, in response to 20 years of film music at the film festival. In 2007, the CD series For the Record was launched, to shed light on the works of composers who had already performed at the festival. Hitherto, this series is made up of CDs by Craig Armstrong (2007), Mychael Danna (2008), Angelo Badalamenti (2009), Shigeru Umebayashi (2010), Gabriel Yared (2011) and Cliff Martinez (2014).
The festival is praised as one of the first cultural organizations to turn the spotlight on film music, which gave it the status of a pioneer. It has built up a strong reputation by organizing concerts, such as the very first concert of music by Hans Zimmer.
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