No matter how many times you visit the cinema, there’s still a delightful shiver of anticipation when you take your seat, the lights go down, the screen flickers to life and you prepare to immerse yourself in a whole other world.
That thrilling moment increases when the opening notes of the film’s score come from a live orchestra. Since 2010, Southbank Centre has presented a wide range of films with live orchestral accompaniment, from Brief Encounter to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In response to requests from some of the world’s leading orchestras and festivals, Southbank Centre has also created touring packages to support other organisations around the world to present a selection of these first-class performances.
Our Film with Live Music programme has been presented across the globe with partners such as Sydney Festival, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl, Philharmonie de Paris and Teatro Colon.
Here’s what you could bring to your venue.
Few film soundtracks are so instantly recognisable as for Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece, which features music by Ligeti, Khachaturian and Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra.
Southbank Centre worked closely with the British Film Institute, the film rights holders Warner Bros. and the Kubrick Estate to create the music-free version of the film and at the same time devise a bespoke score with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Andre de Ridder. The resulting live performances have been a smash hit with audiences here in London and as far afield as Los Angeles, Frankfurt Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo and Adelaide.
In January 2017 Southbank Centre presented one of Scorsese’s most iconic works in Royal Festival Hall with a live score for the first time ever. The brooding, shifting chords, ominous drum beat and a soaring saxophone melody in Bernard Herrmann's last film score, delivered the night before he died, provides an eloquent, nightmarish texture to Scorsese’s hellish portrait of 1970s Manhattan.
One of the most romantic films ever made, David Lean’s 1945 weepie has a sumptuous score including Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Southbank Centre commissioned a special live soundtrack to accompany Brief Encounter in 2014, and this event has now become a favourite with our audiences.
Jerry Goldsmith was nominated for an Oscar for his Planet of the Apes score, and now audiences can hear it performed live with a screening of the classic film, which stars Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell.
Planet of the Apes is perennially popular with audiences, and its social subtexts seem as relevant as they were back in 1968. Now Southbank Centre has made this production available to tour, so this extraordinary cinematic experience can be shared widely.