As Varèse Sarabande Label Turns 40, Composers Celebrate a Harmonious Partner

“It’s one of the true pioneering enterprises in our business,” says composer Alan Silvestri about the preeminent film music label, Varèse Sarabande, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Silvestri won a 2001 Grammy for instrumental composition for his theme for “Cast Away,” a movie that has very little music and was an unlikely candidate for a soundtrack album … until Varèse producer Robert Townson proposed a Silvestri greatest-hits CD that would lead off with “Cast Away.” “Talk about the adventurousness and passion of Bob Townson and Varèse,” Silvestri adds. “There was no other way anyone was ever going to hear that music outside of the movie.”

Silvestri is just one of many composers who praise the label that has long promoted their work. Lee Holdridge met Varèse principals Chris Kuchler and Tom Null in 1978, and “was impressed by their dream, although I could not understand how they would be able to make it as a viable commercial company,” he says. “Much to my surprise and delight, they soon released some of my early soundtracks and concert works.”

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