Three-time Academy Award-winning songwriter Marilyn Bergman announces her decision to step down as president and chairman of the board of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). The ASCAP Board of Directors will elect her successor during their next meeting later this month.
Bergman was the first woman to be elected to the ASCAP Board of Directors and was named president and chairman of the board in 1994. She will continue to serve as an active board member.
"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," Bergman says. "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 noted that she and her writing partner and husband, Academy Award-winning songwriter Alan Bergman, have a number of new projects in the works that require her focus. "Alan has always been supportive of the time that my ASCAP presidency required. But with so much exciting work before us, I feel it's time that I fully devote myself to my first calling: writing. So I look forward to shifting my energy back to our work, while having the privilege to continue to serve ASCAP and my fellow music creators."
The Bergmans have just completed work on Steven Soderbergh's film, The Informant, with composer Marvin Hamlisch, and are currently working on two musical theater projects—one with Hamlisch and one with Michel Legrand. They are also at work on Visions of America: A Photo Symphony Celebrating the Sites and Songs of Democracy with renowned photographer Joseph Sohm and composer Roger Kellaway. This was premiered at the Kimmel Center-Verizon Hall on January 25, 2009 in Philadelphia with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops.
"From the moment she assumed the role of president and chairman of the board, Marilyn worked tirelessly on behalf of our membership to the benefit of all music creators," says John LoFrumento, CEO of ASCAP. "She has been tremendously effective in helping ASCAP anticipate the changing needs of our members—particularly given the immense shifts that have occurred in music, technology and society as a whole over the past decade. I will greatly miss the insights and collaborative spirit that she brought to our working relationship. But I am comforted to know that Marilyn will remain a strong and active presence on our Board of Directors."
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.
Bergman's biography may be viewed on ASCAP's Website.