Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Berklee to Premiere Original Score to Silent Film Nosferatu

The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will premiere the score composed by eight of Berklee's student film composers as part of Berklee's signature concert series. 

July 29, 2015

On Friday, October 30, at 8 p.m., the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart, in collaboration with Berklee, bring the classic 1922 silent vampire film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror to the Symphony Hall stage with a completely new symphonic score for one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of the 20th century. This will be the first-ever silent film concert in the long histories of both the Boston Pops and Symphony Hall.

For this special event, eight of Berklee’s finest student film composers with Sheldon Mirowitz, professor of film scoring, composed a symphonic score to the film. The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart, will premiere the score, which features less-common instruments like the theremin and a Moog System 55 modular synthesizer, to accompany a projection of this iconic film. The composers, all students in Berklee’s Scoring Silent Films course taught by Mirowitz (Outside Providence, Missing in America), who also leads the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, are: Amit Cohen (Israel), Wani Han (South Korea), Emily Joseph (United States), Victor Kong (Malaysia), Matthew Morris (Canada), Hyunsoo Nam (South Korea), Elena Nezhelskaya (Russia), and Joy Ngiaw (Malaysia).

Nosferatu is universally acknowledged not only as the greatest silent horror film, but also as one of the most influential films of all time, so creating a full symphonic score to this iconic cinematic masterpiece is definitely a daunting undertaking,” said Lockhart. “We at the Boston Pops are excited to embark on this new landmark collaboration with Berklee College of Music, as it will be the most significant project in Boston Pops history in the area of presenting student-composed work. The Nosferatu film score project also brings a unique opportunity for students to participate in the rehearsal process and for me to join in the classroom experience on a whole new level of creative involvement. Our hope is to offer a new dimension to the film for fans of Nosferatu and to introduce this amazing motion picture to movie lovers who might not otherwise be aficionados of the silent film genre. Those who love film music will appreciate how the silent genre makes the score even more essential—the music conveys not just mood and atmosphere, but the narrative of the film. And the timing couldn’t be better … setting the mood for a perfectly fantastic Halloween in 2015.”

The concert presents a new take on a relatively recent Boston Pops tradition of presenting movies at Symphony Hall with lush soundtracks performed live by the virtuosic musicians of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. The presentation is part of the Signature Series at Berklee, in addition to being a featured event on the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra calendar.

In keeping with the vampire theme, audiences are invited to dress in costume. On the same day as the performance, Brigham and Women’s Hospital will host a blood drive from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Symphony Hall on Saint Stephens’ Street.

The concert will feature two major soloists on theremin and Moog System 55 modular synthesizer.

Thereminist Rob Schwimmer is one of the world's top virtuosos on the instrument, having performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Little Orchestra at Lincoln Center, Simon & Garfunkel, Bobby McFerrin, and Phish's Trey Anastasio. His most recent album, with Uri Caine and Mark Feldman, is Theremin Noir. A founding member of the New York Theremin Society and the 10-Piece Theremin Orchestra, Schwimmer has recently been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, and in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Schwimmer's film and television credits include Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3, R.W. Goodwin's Alien Trespass, CBS Television's Now and Again, and A&E's Breakfast with the Arts.During his residency at Bucknell University, Schwimmer premiered a new silent film soundtrack for the Fall of the House of Usher (1928). This soundtrack also premiered in New York City at the Tribeca New Music Festival.

Michael Bierylo is an electronic musician, guitarist, composer, and sound designer. He has been a faculty member at Berklee since 1995 and is currently the chair of the Electronic Production and Design Department. Bierylo has performed throughout the U.S. at venues as diverse as the Knitting Factory, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Duke and Emory universities, and Dartmouth College as a member of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. As a solo electronic artist, Bierylo has performed with laptop computer and modular synthesizers in the U.S. and Berlin, Germany, including a concert with Grammy-nominated electronic musician BT in 2012.  

His commercial work includes music and audio production for Hasbro Interactive, the Smithsonian, Nickelodeon, and the Oxygen Network, A&E's Biography, the Learning Channel, and Martha Stewart Living. Recent projects include work on the films Granito, the Reckoning, and Traces of the Trade, all featured at the Sundance Film Festival. Bierylo will perform on the Moog System 55 modular synthesizer, made available for this concert by Moog Music.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror at Symphony Hall are available online. Prices ranging from $37 to $47. Tickets may also be purchased by phone through SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or 617-266-1200. Performance starts at 8:00 p.m.

In general, tickets may be purchased online or by phone Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (with a $6.25 handling fee for each ticket ordered online or by phone). Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Symphony Hall box office, open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. Most major credit cards and cash are accepted at the box office. For group sales of 25 or more, call 617-638-9345 or 800-933-4255. 

The Boston Symphony has a dedicated line for disabled patrons who would like to purchase tickets to BSO, Boston Pops, or Tanglewood concerts, or who need information about disability services at Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. This line can be reached by dialing 617-638-9431. For access via TDD/TTY, call 617-638-9289. Patrons with disabilities can access Symphony Hall through the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue or through the Massachusetts Avenue entrance.    


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