Veteran movie composer BILL CONTI will be musical director at the Academy Awards in March (06), for the 18th time.

Conti, himself an Oscar-winner for his 1983 score to The Right Stuff, will conduct the Academy Awards Orchestra during the high-profile event at Hollywood's Kodak Theater on 5 March.

The 63-year-old has scored movies including Rocky, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and THE KARATE KID.