Berklee Celebrates BMI Day with Succession Composer Nicholas Britell

Britell and BMI executive Alex Flores copresented the BMI Film Scoring Scholarship to student composer Shayn Toothman.

November 5, 2021
Composer Nicholas Britell

Acclaimed composer Nicholas Britell delivered the keynote address for BMI Day at Berklee.

Emmy Award–winning composer Nicholas Britell (Succession) and Alex Flores, senior vice president of creative for BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), joined Berklee on Friday, November 5, in virtual celebration to commemorate the college’s annual BMI Day. At the event, Britell and Flores copresented this year’s BMI Film Scoring Scholarship to student composer Shayn Toothman.

The first BMI Film Scoring Scholarship was presented in 1998 by composer Michael Kamen. It is awarded each year to a student selected by the Film Scoring Department based on the student’s musical ability, financial need, and potential for career success.

"The Film Scoring Department is tremendously grateful for all that BMI has done to support our students throughout the years,” said Sean McMahon, department chair. "Our relationship with BMI is one of the most important external relationships we have, and BMI Day is one of the biggest days of the year in the department. We are so appreciative to Nicholas Britell for delivering the keynote and presenting the BMI award to Shayn Toothman in our virtual ceremony this year.”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has supported my journey, especially those at BMI and Berklee for this tremendous recognition,” said Toothman. “I am so incredibly excited to make music for a larger audience, and to experience more wonderful stories through my future pursuits in composition and orchestration.”

About Shayn Toothman

Shayn Toothman

A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Toothman has worked as a composer, conductor, performer, audio director, sound designer, orchestra manager, and educator. As a percussionist, Toothman has performed with the likes of Seiji Ozawa, Midori Goto, and Arnie Roth at venues ranging from Honolulu's Blaisdell Concert Hall to Boston’s Symphony Hall. His compositions and arrangements have have been performed internationally, and he has also written dramatic works for film and video games. He is the audio director for Scuffed Games Studio, a founding member and vice president of Berklee's Classical Musician's Coalition, and is orchestra manager for the newly revitalized Berklee Motion Picture Orchestra. He works as a core music tutor at the college, and teaches private instruction for both percussion and orchestration.

About Nicholas Britell

Britell, a two-time Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning composer and pianist, is renowned for his scores in both film and television with Oscar-winning writer-directors Barry Jenkins and Adam McKay. In 2016, Britell scored Jenkins’s Moonlight, which won the Oscar for Best Picture. The year prior, he wrote the score for McKay’s acclaimed film The Big Short, based on Michael Lewis’s bestselling book. For the first season of HBO’s Succession, Britell won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme as well as the 2018 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score (TV Show/Limited Series).

Most recently, Britell scored Amazon's limited series The Underground Railroad, for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition. Britell is a San Francisco Symphony collaborative partner, a Steinway Artist, and a creative associate of the Juilliard School. His public performances have included concerts at London’s Barbican Hall, the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Ravinia, and the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.