Marin Alsop Conducts Musical Score to Charlie Chaplin's Silent Film City Lights, February 29-March 2
Symphony with a Twist™ program features screening of complete film with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performing updated orchestration
Baltimore, Md. (January 25, 2008) - On February 29 at the Music Center at Strathmore and March 1-2 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the concert hall transforms into a movie theater as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the musical score to Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, accompanied by a screening of the famed silent film. Chaplin not only wrote, directed and starred in his 1931 film—he also composed the score. Led by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, these Symphony with a Twist™ concerts will celebrate Chaplin's creative genius and revolutionary ideas in the world of film. See below for complete program information.
This romantic comedy features Chaplin as his most famous character, the "Little Tramp," in his efforts to woo a blind girl, who falls in love with him thinking he is a handsome and wealthy benefactor. In his attempt to keep up this illusion, Chaplin tries to raise money-in unorthodox yet hilarious ways-to pay for an operation to cure her blindness.
Though sound came to film in the late 1920s, Chaplin remained steadfast in his decision to produce silent films. Released in 1931, City Lights features a recorded orchestral score, replacing the live movie theater pianist. Because Chaplin could not read or write music, he sang his composition from memory to accomplished arranger Arthur Johnson, who then scored the piece. For this composition, Chaplin pulled ideas from everything he heard and incorporated Jose Padilla's "La Violetera" as a motif for the blind girl. With more than 100 musical cues, it took the pair six weeks to synchronize the score to the scenes of the film.
"Chaplin revolutionized films on every level, but not the least of which was this concept of having a cinematic score for an entire film," Alsop said. City Lights is one of Marin Alsop's favorite films.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed for her dynamic musicianship, artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra, mirroring her ongoing success in the United Kingdom as principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony since 2002.
In summer 2005, she was named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this most prestigious American award. The first artist to win Gramophone's "Artist of the Year" award and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Conductor's Award in the same season (2003), Maestra Alsop recently won the Classical Brit Award for Best Female Artist of 2005. In July 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award presented to individuals whose vision, courage and determination have made a major impact on increasing the influence of women in European affairs.
Ms. Alsop is a regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as with many distinguished orchestras worldwide. After a highly successful 12-year tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony, Ms. Alsop continues her association as conductor laureate; she also continues as music director of the highly acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.
Marin Alsop is a native of New York City; she attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she became a prizewinner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition in New York, and in the same year, she was awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Gustav Meier.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Symphony with a Twist™ Series: Charlie Chaplin's City Lights
Friday, February 29, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-The Music Center at Strathmore +
Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH) +
Sunday, March 2, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. -JMSH
Marin Alsop, conductor
City Lights, the film, score by Charlie Chaplin*
+Lobby opens at 6:30 p.m. for live jazz, light fare and cocktails.
* BSO premiere
Special anniversary pricing at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall is made possible by generous underwriting from the PNC Foundation.
The Baltimore Sun is the print sponsor for these performances.
WBAL-AM is the radio sponsor for these performances.
Tickets for these concerts range from $15 to $84 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444 or 410.783.8000, or BSOmusic.org