Philharmonica Orchestra of New York Announces Winners Of Orchestral Film Competition

The Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) is now the world's first orchestra to host its own film competition in search of talented filmmakers to create original films to accompany its performances. The winners' films, inspired by the music of Richard Wagner, will be screened during PONY's Symphonic Storyboards concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center March 21-22, under the baton of principal conductor Atsushi Yamada. Hailed as "among the most progressive modern orchestras," PONY is an ensemble of some of New York's finest musicians, dedicated to reinventing classical music performance with spectacular visuals and lighting.

PONY's spring concerts will also feature Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's dazzling orchestral showpiece Scheherazade, with original projections by celebrated visual artist Daniel Brodie, whose work includes Aladdin on Broadway and collaborations with Kanye West and Mariah Carey. View Brodie's trailer for PONY's Symphonic Storyboards here.

The March concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center will include arias, choruses and overtures from the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, including Aida, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Nabucco, and Rigoletto, all with projections by Mr. Brodie. Soloists include baritone Robert Kerr, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, tenor Alex Richardson, and soprano Michelle Areyzaga, with choral accompaniment by talented student singers from Japan through the sponsorship of Project Hand in Hand.

More than 130 filmmakers from 30 countries entered PONY's Symphonic Storyboards competition, representing all levels of experience, from students working on their first film to established, award-winning directors. Submissions covered a range of approaches and styles: animation to live action, comedy to drama. PONY congratulates winners Adam Grannick and the production duo of Taylor Stanton and Bec Sloane, whose original films will be screened with live orchestra at the concerts.

"The response from the film community to our competition was beyond our expectations," said Maestro Yamada. "We were thrilled by the number of submissions and the caliber of the work. It's encouraging to know so many filmmakers out there have a passion for great music. Their films will be a wonderful enhancement to our shows." Maestro Yamada is the co-founder of PONY, whose distinguished conducting career includes many performances with the New York City Opera, including a tour of Japan with Madama Butterfly.

The Filmmakers

Stanton and Sloane's film for Wagner's The Flying Dutchman will apply stop-motion animation using handmade puppets. Their story expresses themes of immortality and loyalty as the main character dreams of leaving her mundane routine for a life of greatness and adventure. Sloane's resume includes work with the Jim Henson Company and Radio City. Stanton's documentary work was recently named one of four "Breakthrough Films of 2016" by the filmmaker collective FILMSHOP. Watch samples of the Brooklyn-based team's past work here.

Grannick is a New York-based filmmaker whose projects, ranging from documentary to experimental, have won awards in human rights, women's rights, and music categories. Inspired by Wagner's Tannhäuser overture, his film tells the story of an orphaned young painter who leaves home for the last time, willing to brave all obstacles for an opportunity in New York City. View his trailer here.

Eight filmmakers were recognized as finalists in the Symphonic Storyboards competition, including: Tara Dougans, Andrea Franceschini, Max Krupski, Alexander Lattanzi, Kazunori Maeda, H. Paul Moon, Alan Nguyen and Phil Poppy. PONY congratulates all the finalists on the excellence of their work. Examples of their past films can be seen here.

Philharmonia Orchestra of New York

Hailed as "among the most progressive modern orchestras" by The Observer, the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) is an ensemble of over 80 of New York's finest musicians. Its members have played with all the major Lincoln Center ensembles, including the Met Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra and New York City Opera Orchestra. They are joined by recent graduates of America's finest conservatories. The orchestra uses technological advances and a project-based business model to innovate classical music performance. The musicians first performed as PONY in Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton at the Lincoln Center Festival in July 2015. The orchestra performs regularly with Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden. PONY musicians are proud members of Local 802, American Federation of Musicians. For more information on Philharmonia Orchestra of New York, please visit

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