New York Philharmonic to Accompany CITY LIGHTS and FANTASIA Screenings This Spring
The New York Philharmonic will present two programs of film music in May 2016: a complete screening of Charlie Chaplin's CITY LIGHTS, May 19, 2016 - with the Orchestra performing Chaplin's score live, conducted by Timothy Brock, who restored the score for live performance - and Disney's FANTASIA, May 20-21, 2016 - in which selections from FANTASIA and FANTASIA 2000 will be screened as the Orchestra performs the music live, led by Assistant Conductor Joshua Gersen, in honor of FANTASIA's 75th anniversary.
Chaplin composed the CITY LIGHTS score (with the exception of one selection), and the music was arranged and orchestrated by Arthur Johnston and Alfred Newman. Chaplin wrote in My Autobiography (1964): "One happy thing about sound was that I could control the music, so I composed my own. I tried to compose elegant and romantic music to frame my comedies in contrast to the tramp character, for elegant music gave my comedies an emotional dimension." The Philharmonic presented Chaplin's Modern Times and his 1914 short film Kid Auto Races at Venice in September 2014 as part of the second annual THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic, conducted by Timothy Brock.
The presentation of Disney's FANTASIA and FANTASIA 2000 will feature scenes from the films along with selections from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5; Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, Pastoral; Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite; Debussy's Claire de lune; Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite (1919 version); Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours; Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice; and Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance.
The programs will precede the previously announced A John Williams Celebration, the New York Philharmonic Spring Gala, May 24, 2016, led by David Newman. In that program the Orchestra will perform music from the Oscar-winning film composer's iconic scores, including Schindler's List, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jaws, Jane Eyre, and Born on the Fourth of July. Clips from select films will be projected during the performance.
Conductor and composer Timothy Brock specializes in early 20th-century concert works and live performances of silent film. As a silent-film score conductor and preservationist, his leading work includes the restoration of Shostakovich's only silent-film score, to New Babylon (1929); Satie's dadaist score to Entr'acte (1924); and Antheil's music for Ballet me?canique (1924). Since 1999 Mr. Brock has served as score preservationist for the Charles Chaplin family; to this day he is the foremost authority on the music of the actor/filmmaker, having made 12 live-performance revised and critical editions of all Chaplin's major films, including CITY LIGHTS, Modern Times, The Gold Rush, The Kid, and The Circus. At age 23 Mr. Brock began composing new scores for silent film with G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box (1929), and has since written almost 30 orchestral scores for notable orchestras and institutions including the Orchestre National de Lyon, Cine?mathe?que Franc?aise, Wiener Konzerthaus, Cineteca di Bologna, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid, and the Cite? de la Musique de Paris. The Chaplin family has commissioned Mr. Brock to write an original score to celebrate the centennial of Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), the very first appearance of the "Gentleman Tramp" (often called The Little Tramp). In 2016 Mr. Brock will conduct the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in the World Premiere of his long-awaited new score for Fritz Lang's science-fiction epic Frau im Mond (1929), commissioned by the Wiener Konzerthaus. His concert works include three symphonies, three concertos, a cantata, two operas, and orchestral pieces. Timothy Brock is a regular guest of major orchestras worldwide, including the BBC, BBC Scottish, and Chicago symphony orchestras, Orchestre National de Lyon, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestra della Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Brock has created a concert series of programs of Entartete Musik ("degenerate music," by composers banned by the Third Reich), including works by Schulhoff, Schreker, Zemlinsky, Kra?sa, Klein, and Haas. Mr. Brock gave the North American Premieres of Eisler's Kleine Sinfonie, Niemandslied, and Kuhle Wampe; Schulhoff's Symphony No. 2; and one of the first performances of Ullmann's opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis, written from within the Terezin ghetto in 1944. Mr. Brock had also included his own string orchestral transcriptions of the string quartets of Haas. Mr. Brock led Chaplin's The Gold Rush with Members of the New York Philharmonic in 2011 and 2012 performances at Alice Tully Hall; he made his Philharmonic debut leading the program "Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times: The Tramp at 100" in September 2014 as part of THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic.
Joshua Gersen, music director of the New York Youth Symphony, began his tenure as New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor in September 2015. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he recently finished his tenure as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he served as assistant conductor to artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. He was principal conductor of the Ojai Music Festival in 2013; has conducted the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville symphony orchestras; and has served as a cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and many other orchestras throughout the U.S. Winner of a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, he is also a recipient of the 2010 Robert Harth Prize and 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize from the Aspen Summer Festival, where he served as assistant conductor in the summer of 2012. His work as a composer has led to an interest in conducting contemporary music; he has led World Premieres with the New World Symphony and New York Youth Symphony, and has collaborated with composers including John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, and Michael Gandolfi. Joshua Gersen will have made his New York Philharmonic debut conducting a Young People's Concert in December 2015.
Single tickets start at $45. Tickets are available now through December 7 only to 2015-16 New York Philharmonic subscribers online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will become available to the general public on December 8, at which time tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org, by calling (212) 875-5656, or at the David Geffen Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. (Ticket prices subject to change.)