Star Trek’s Michael Giacchino Nominated For Composer of the Year

Star Trek composer Michael Giacchino is again being recognized for his talents, this time by the World Soundtrack Academy which has just announced their nominees for for their annual Soundtrack Awards. Giacchino has been nominated for Composer of the Year, for his work on Star Trek and other films.


Giacchino’s latest nomination
Giacchinno’s nomination for Film Composer of the Year recognizes his work for Star Trek as well as Up and Land of the Lost. He is going up against Carter Burwell (Burn After Reading, Twilight), Alexandre Desplat (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Coco Avant Chanel, Largo Winch, Cheri), Danny Elfman (Milk, Taking Woodstock, Notorious), and Hans Zimmer (Frost/Nixon, Angels & Demons, The Dark Knight). The Soundtrack Awards uses the time period from July 1st to June 30th for their year, which is why nominations are announced now, and why so many 2008 films are in the mix. 
Unfortunately none of Giacchino’s scores picked up nominations for Best Original Score of the Year. A full list of nominations can be found at The winners will be announced at the Ghent International Film Festival on October 17th.

Giacchino is no stranger to industry accolades. The composer’s mantle contains a number of awards, including a Grammy, and ASCAP award, and an Emmy. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for Ratatouille, but did didn’t win, however he was appointed the musical director for the Oscar broadcast in 2009, where he threw in a musical sting from Alexander Courage’s Star Trek theme.  .

Giacchino with director JJ Abrams

Pick up the Star Trek soundtrack now at Amazon

More noms for Trek?
Award season is still many months away (with the WSA being an anomalie due to their splitting the year’s for consideration), so Giacchino may still see some more nominations, and he is likely not the only one associated with Star Trek who may have to ready an acceptance speech. We have already reported on the Best Picture Oscar buzz for Star Trek, due to the rule change allowing 10 films to be nominated. Beyond that, Trek can likely expect other nominations, especially in some of the ‘technical’ categories. And of course there are the Golden Globes, and other awards shows as well.


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Great composer. Can’t wait for his work on the next one.

I hope he wins. He sure deserves to.

I haven’t heard his scores for Up or Land of the Lost, but his Trek score I found really underwhelming. I know he’s capable of greatness–his Incredibles and especially Secret Weapons Over Normandy have proven that–I was just really disappointed in the really lackluster Trek soundtrack.

yes! i love it when composers are honored.
those of you who were “underwhelmed” with the trek score: you missed the point. we are thankfully moving away from sci-fi opera grandeur and into an emotional response to character. the trek score is as much a part of kirk as pine was, not to mention spock’s theme.

now let’s give some awards to the sound design of the new film, which was far superior than any work ever done on any trek film, ever (check the mind meld audio for example). if you cried during the death of of the kelvin, it was the score and the sound work that you were responding to.

70% of film is sound.

p.s. of course, if you hate the film, never mind. your contempt is lost on me.

It’s great to see Michael Giacchino recognized.

His Star Trek score was great fun, and perfect for the movie.

He added such a sense of adventure and emotion to Star Trek, and I love it.

Well done Michael !!!!

I thought the score was awesome!

So if I didn’t like his Trek score I “missed the point?” That’s a pretty arrogant attitude.

He’s a great composer, but I wish he had come up with a more epic sounding main title for Star Trek.

#4 “if you cried during the death of of the kelvin, it was the score and the sound work that you were responding to.
70% of film is sound. ”

You’re absolutely right, it’s the score that sets the emotions in a movie. I had tears in my eyes during the death of the Kelvin, and it was due to the combination of on-screen sequence and the heartbreaking theme. ‘Young Enterprising Men’ and the End credits theme the best too. I probably more like MG’s work for LOST, but the ST soundrack was also great and right for the ST movie. I hope he’s in for the next ST movie.

Hans Zimmer is one of my fav composers too, maybe even more favourite than MG, so I’d like either of them to be honoured. Of course, it depends on how strong their competition is. I’ve been only to the Dark Knight and Twilight though. DK score was great and right for that movie, but I don’t really recall anything special about it. I liked Twilight’s score too, but it has a different, more contemporary style, and I don’t know if it can be compared to the more orchestral scores like those of ST and DK.

It’ll be awsome to see Star Trek winning some awards, I’m sure it’ll get some:)

his score grew on me but James Horner’s and Jerry Goldsmith’s work is so much better.

In fact music scores are very underwhelming as a whole these days.

Hans Zimmer is good and his score for Dark Knight was great but it was not as memorable as Danny Elfman’s music for Batman and Batman Returns. Elfman’s music for Batman was better.

I look at Giacchino’s music in the same way. It was a good score but not as great as the other movies.


His score was boring and ordinary. The worst of all Star Trek Movies. He will not win. The other composers are much better.

I liked Giacchino music for “Star Trek” very much. The aim of JJ and his team was to make huge changes in the reboot, yet do the little things to make long-time Star Trek fans feel “at home” (and appreciated) in the new Trek universe. The music was one of the more subtle yet important ways this was done, and some of you don’t seem to appreciate how cleverly it was done by Giacchino.

With the previous Trek movies, the producers wanted to escape the small screen and be more “cinematic.” That meant everything was “bigger,” including the music. Goldsmith, Horner, and the rest wrote complex sweeping scores to emulate the John Williams “Star Wars” blueprint for space epic music. And it was great music, especially Goldsmith’s ST-TMP music (still my favorite for Trek movies).

But for Star Trek 2009, JJ and Co. wanted to recapture some of the elements that made the original series so endearing, while still making a big-budget spectacular. So one key difference is the music, when compared to previous Trek movies. Giacchino went for smaller and less complex, which is reminiscent of the incidental music you kept hearing used and reused over and over and over again on the original series episodes. At the end credits, when the complete original theme came on, it did not seem out of place at all, because the rest of the score was written in a way that honored the simple and effective music from the original series. If the complete original theme was thrown in there at the end of any other Trek movie, the audience would have laughed.

I’m sure Giacchino could have produced a great “space epic” score. But the purpose of movie music is to enhance the movie experience, not just stand on its own as musical entertainment. I’m sure JJ told Giacchino exactly what he was going for with the film, and Giacchino delivered the music to support that vision.

The perfect example is the “Enterprising Young Men” track (where Bones sneaks Kirk onto Enterprise). That music is perfect, NOT because it is richly textured, overly complex, and arranged for the full London Symphony Orchestra… It is perfect because it is uncomplicated, a bit obvious, and arranged for a smaller set of instruments. And when I saw “Star Trek” the second time (when I was paying more attention to the music), I realized how nicely it worked to make the newest Trek feel more like the oldest Trek than any previous Trek movie, including the ones with the original cast.

And that made me appreciate Giacchino’s talent even more. He isn’t just trying to “show off” every time… his music has a purpose.

#4 you took the words right out of my mouth. You don’t have to produce somethign as ‘hummable’ or ‘showy’ as some of John Williams’s stuff to produce a great film score – and a lot of people seem to miss that point.

Film scores are there to set the tone and emotional theme of the film – and Giacchino does that perfectly. The music for the death of George Kirk and the birth of Jim is one of the most moving pieces I’ve ever heard for film – and I have hundrefds of – mainly orchestral – soundtracks in my collection.

Star Trek is a terrific score. It might not have the grandeur of Goldsmith or Horner, but arguably it’s as good as TMP and TWOK, just in a different way.

#11 – Yeah, but arguably Elfman’s Batman score wouldn’t fit Nolan’s Batman reboots – they’re different films thematically, hence the different aqpproaches to the scores. Personally I like both.

Mr. Giacchino seems to be a pleasant person, but I didn´t like his score for the new movie – it has the same rank as the movie for me (= it fits to it).
For the Batman music, I prefer Elliot Goldenthal. His Batman March is the best piece of the franchise music. But I doubt whether it would fit into Nolan´s movie. And yes, Zimmer is great.
For Trek I prefer the Goldsmith themes (Title Music, Kligons).

Oh, sorry, there should have been “His Batman March is the best piece of the franchise music for me.” in the sentence…

How was the score not memorable/hummable? The opening track is basically the entire score (you know I’m exaggerating a bit) played 20 different ways.

Anyways, I enjoy Giacchino, he did a good job on Trek. But if he doesn’t win for that, he most certainly should win for UP. That was an amazing score.

Elliot Goldenthal is good too. His score was the only good part of batman & Robin.

True that Elfman’s music would not fit in with Nolan’s version but I was just saying I prefer to listen to Elfman’s music over the new one

Elfman’s Batman march is the best Batman theme.

It’s not the worst score I’ve ever heard, but no way the best either.

Better luck next time. Or a different composer…

I like his score for this movie.

It was good composition compared to other scores these days, but you all have to admit it only is average compared to epic scores of the past.

There are some really fantastic parts and some that go on your nerves, because they apear again and again and because they are too “invasive” where they should be subliminal.

Some parts too much repeated itself and it sometimes was too artifically “wannabe big”.

Yet, I liked it better than some of the bad Trek movie score, but no comparison to the best days of Goldsmith.

4. pock speared: ‘those of you who were “underwhelmed” with the trek score: you missed the point. we are thankfully moving away from sci-fi opera grandeur and into an emotional response to character.’

That comes off sounding incredibly arrogant! Your ‘excuse’ is much the same as the garbage we hear these days excusing the replacement of true character drama in scripts with soap operatics as modern drama being ‘more emotional’: in other words, ill-trained modern writers lacking true human insight writing trite, faux melodrama and passing it off as something deeper than it is!

I liked Giacchino’s score, although it’s not as good as Khan, and I’m a big fan of his work, particularly on Alias.

But, at the end of the day, I like ‘operatic grandeur’ so shoot me! :p I guess people who have loved opera for the last 500-odd years have all been ‘thankfully’ stupider than you too! ;)

If Giacchino had bothered to write a main theme instead of the most trite, musically clichéd 4 bars he could figure out how to write, I would totally be for this. The rest of the score is pretty darn good. And amen to 7 and 20; I don’t believe I’m being arrogant merely by having standards.

# 21

Well said!

Soundtrack list for me:

# 1: Goldsmith’ TMP-Score
# 2: Horner’s TSFS-Score
# 3: Horner’s TWOK-Score
# 4: Goldsmith’ TFF-Score
# 5: Goldsmith’ FC-Score
# 6: Goldsmith’ INS-Score
# 7: Eidelman’s TUC-Score
# 8: Goldsmith’ NEM-Score
# 9: McCarthy’s GEN-Score
# 10: Giacchino’s 09-Score
# 11: Rosenman’s TVH-Score (that was a really bad one)

Must be a very dull year if Giacchino gets a composer of the year award.

But then again, this entire movie is overrated beyond reason, and so is its soundtrack.

# 23 – Spot on with the Ratings… I’d swap 1&2 but apart from that I’d agree totally.

Trek 3 is a VERY underated film and score…

I like the soundtrack. I don’t love the soundtrack like some of Giacchino’s other work (Incredibles and Lost, particularly), but I like it.

They don’t mention Terminator Salvation among Danny Elfman’s movies? I was surprised when I found out he’d done that one.

Giacchino’s score was refreshing, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love Goldsmith, Horner and co., but their style was getting old and tired: the same orchestral melodies. Imo, Trek needed a young, new composer, capable of bringing something different.
I will never get tired of saying so: to survive, Trek was in need of a change, and we are getting it. All these awards, the stunning reviews, they are not just luck. This is the right path for Trek :)


I have to like the more grandiose scores.

are you saying the future is smaller, less memorable scores.

I still like some of todays scores butI feel that they are more bland these days.

I dont like the thought of grand orchestral smusic is to be lost to a generation who just want to see shiny stuff

It is sad to think this but I feel film music has suffered these days.

I meant I happen to like

#4 – Don’t hate it. Just not ga-ga over it like a lot of people are. It was an okay and even a pretty good film. Not bad. But certainly not great, either. All of this, of course, IMHO.

“27. Paulaner – August 19, 2009
Giacchino’s score was refreshing, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love Goldsmith, Horner and co., but their style was getting old and tired: the same orchestral melodies. Imo, Trek needed a young, new composer, capable of bringing something different.
I will never get tired of saying so: to survive, Trek was in need of a change, and we are getting it. All these awards, the stunning reviews, they are not just luck. This is the right path for Trek :)

LOL, just because it’s a new score to a new film it’s excellent?
How can Horner’s style get old and tired when the last time he scored a Trek movie was 1984?

Cliff Eidelmann was a young, fresh composer, who brought lots of new themes into Star Trek 6. And his score is MUCH better than Giacchinos.

Could it be that this nuTrek is totally overhyped just because of the fact it exists? It’s been 7 years since the last Trek movie already, 10 years since the last good Trek movie. What I see here and elsewhere are total overreactions.

Wondering if that will get old pretty soon with the sequel, when the hype is over.

#28 “are you saying the future is smaller, less memorable scores.”

For me, Giacchino’s score is not smaller than Goldsmith’s, nor less memorable. The idea of “memorable” is subjective. Something become memorable because you like it. I like Giacchino, so it will become memorable for me ;)

#31 “LOL, just because it’s a new score to a new film it’s excellent?”

Guys, you don’t understand what “personal taste” means. I found Giacchino’s score refreshing. In my opinion, this kind of score was needed. In… my…. opinion :)

The big problem with Giacchino’s score for Star Trek is that JJ ask him to rein it in. In an interview that Abrams gave he stated he had ask Michael to hold back when doing the music. When you listen to The Incredibles and even the music he did for the video game Secret Weapons Over Normandy you’ll realize he held way back for Star Trek. This score is OK but its pedestrian. It may fit certian scenes in the movie but as a stand alone score its really mediocre. Horner’s just released full score for Wrath of Khan and Goldsmith’s music for TMP these are really epic film scores.Ron Jones wrote the score for the video game Starfleet Academy this music is fantastic, and will give you an example of what the music for Star Trek could have been.

Give me Goldsmith or Horner anyday

He deserves a win. I thought he did a great job of capturing the mood of the movie and Star Trek itself.

Dont get me wrong I love the new film’s music, I do own the CD but I just prefer the others.

I get annoyed when I hear that someone calls the big scores old and tired. They are not tired.


I see your point and I respect your opinion. Goldsmith is a master. Horner… I don’t like his Trek scores, but this is just me.
Let me elaborate on the meaning of “refreshing”: the last four movies all had very bland scores (imo). And Goldsmith was one of the composers. Uninspired. Tired. Without personality. I hated them. I simply think that keeping this path was a suicide. Giacchino’s score was not epic? Didn’t have a theme? I don’t think so. I keep playing some of the tunes in my mind. His score has found a way in me. In… my…. opinion

#37 “I get annoyed when I hear that someone calls the big scores old and tired. They are not tired.”

I have been misunderstood. In my opinion, those kind of scores would have sounded old in this new movie. Listening the same orchestral musical styles in ST09 would have annoyed me. I was expecting something different. And I liked it.

Goldsmith and Horner scores getting old and tired?


I liked Giacchino’s score, but hey, it did start getting a bit repetitive by the end of the movie.

Goldsmith has and always shall be, the best.

Awesome, though I doubt very many people have heard his Land of the Lost score….ha ha….I listen to the TREK soundtrack daily from Youtube, though I have found it difficult to locate this soundtrack anywhere!
I think the sound was epic…. especially Enterprising Young Men…
when the the TREK logo and arrowhead appear…awesome!!! Labor Of Love is very moving…brought a tear to me eye!
Still hard to compare it to Goldsmith’s TMP soundtrack..The Klingon theme, Enterprise leaving spacedock, the theme when Spock is flying into Vejur..
I guess the only weird thing about any soundtrack or artist is that they have their own interpretation of what the “TREK” theme should be..
We know Trek from the Alex Courage theme…then Goldsmith’s opening theme became it for TMP and NEXTGEN…then Horner gave us a new them in TWOK…though he used the TOS opening which was so sweet!!
then TVH, used a totally new one ..though it sounded like everything Rosenman does..though I loved the theme when they were leaving the councel chamber and shuttling over to the 1701A… then Eidleman gives us that serious “Firebirdesqe” opening in TUC…

Still love the TMP theme the best, but TREK has definately cemented a place in my heart..

#40 “Goldsmith has and always shall be, the best.”

Listen carefully to First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis. Even a master like Goldsmith has his tired moments ;)


I respect your opinion but I disagree, Nemesis was Goldsamith’s weakest but FirstContact and Insurrection had great scores and to me are more memorable than the new movies

I feel the new score is better than other film scores these das but my main problem these days are that film scores are too generic these days.

I would put cut five, “Enterprising Young Men” up against any piece of Trek music with the possible exception of the TMP main theme. I also have a tough time thinking of a better MOMENT of Trek music than the build-up to the Enterprise’s nick of time appearance to destroy the Narada’s torpedoes heading toward Spock. Maybe on TNG in Best of Both Worlds when the Borg first appear, but probably not.

I have no problem with the older scores- I just think this one is every bit the sound of Star Trek as they are.

Nemesis was definately Goldsmith’s weakest, but that’s also the problem of the movie itself, the way Stuart Baird edited and dirtected it just didn’t give him a good opportunity to create a better score. (NuTrek on the other hand had actually a lot of scenes that could have used a much better score).

Insurrection and First Contact are way above this movie’s score. Complexity, themes, overall quality of the themes.

Of course that’s my opinion, and you have yours.

What I especially dislike is the rendition of Courage’s theme at the very end of the movie (Spock’s Final Frontier speech). I really can’t stand it. The transition from the famous fanfare to the main theme, it was so great in the original series, it was excellent in Horner’s and Eidelmann’s scores, but I really dislike it in this score.

#21 dom
i love opera.
my post was addressing the idea that the score was “underwhelming” for some cadet named “zaphod”. the point missed, in my arrogant opinion, was that the score had an intentionally unfinished feeling that reflected kirk’s character. note that it was also complex and subtle, just not the ostentatious bombastics that earlier trek scores had begun to overuse as “what space opera sounds like.”
(see ‘star wars’ and ‘the last starfighter’ and everything since as well.)

it’s not “faux melodrama”, i’m not “stupid”, i agree there’s alot of garbage out there, and like you, i think “kahn” is a also great score (again, in my arrogant opinion).

@ Middleman

Overhyped and overreactions, huh? One of the best reviewed movies of the year. Not genre-specific…but best reviewed period. Box office receipts that are closing in on the totals of TNG era movies combined. The fifth biggest movie of 2009 so far. And just yesterday, Star Trek was called out as the benchmark for reinventions for classic icons and movies by USA Today. (Yes, better than Batman and James Bond.)

That’s not hype. Those are the facts. So what you see here “and elsewhere” isn’t an overreaction….it’s virtually universal embracement and praise for the work of a talented cast and creative team. It’s the kind of mainstream success for Star Trek most of us have dreamed of for the last 40 years.

It also means you and the other Talifans are in the vast, vast minority as you continue to spew bile about an amazingly successful movie. Take over to

It was underwhelming for any number us, #47. But nice going for the ad hominem attacks. Really “classy.” See, I can use quotes ironically too.

There was very little thematic development in the score (what, two themes? Three, if you count the brief Vulcan interludes?), and as others have said it was incredibly repetitive.

But hey, maybe you’re a guy who has three emotions that just occur constantly, and that’s why this was an emotional, unfinished score that so obviously gives you a hardon, with the result that anyone who disagrees with your solipsistic worldview needs to be derided.

So you’re trying to tell me that the overreaction of the media (and your own obviously) is evidence that there is no overreaction?