Changing of the guard at ASCAP


After 15 years at the helm, Marilyn Bergman is stepping down as President and Chairman of the Board at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). A successor will be elected when the ASCAP board meets later this month.

Bergman was the first woman ever to serve on the ASCAP board – and then was elected President and Chairman. Bergman presided over the largest expansion of ASCAP membership in the history of the organization – growing from 55,000 when she assumed the Presidency in 1994 to a current membership of more than 350,000 music creators.

“I am grateful to have had the honor of serving as the President and Chairman of ASCAP for 15 years, and am exceedingly proud of all that was accomplished during my tenure. I will continue to be a passionate advocate for all music creators through my work on the ASCAP Board of Directors. But in terms of the Presidency itself, I see that now is the right time to step down,” Bergman said.

She and her husband/song writing partner Alan Bergman have a number of projects in the works. They have just completed work on Steven Soderbergh’s film, “The Informant,” with composer Marvin Hamlisch, and are currently working on two musical theatre projects, one with Hamlisch and one with Michel Legrand. So, Marilyn Bergman is not retiring from music by any means.

Her many awards include three Academy Awards, four Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards. In collaboration with her husband, Alan, Marilyn won Oscars in 1968, 1973 and 1984 for the songs “The Windmills of Your Mind,” “The Way We Were,” (which also received Golden Globe awards and “The Way We Were” earned two Grammys), and for the score for Yentl. They have received 16 Oscar nominations for such songs as “It Might Be You” from Tootsie, “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?” from Best Friends, “Papa Can You Hear Me” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel” from Yentl and “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” from The Happy Ending. In 1996 they were nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for their song “Moonlight” from the film, Sabrina. The four Emmys are for “Sybil,” “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom,” “Ordinary Miracles,” and “A Ticket to Dream.” Other notable television themes are Maude, Good Times, Alice, Brooklyn Bridge and In the Heat of the Night. Principal collaborators include Michel Legrand, Marvin Hamlisch, Dave Grusin, Cy Coleman, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel, John Williams, Quincy Jones and James Newton Howard.