Copeland’s "BEN-HUR, A Tale of the Christ - MGM's silent classic film" premieres

Copeland’s "BEN-HUR, A Tale of the Christ - MGM's silent classic film" premieres
© Photo: Warner Bros.
On April 19, composer and rock legend Stewart Copeland's BEN-HUR, A Tale of the Christ - MGM's silent classic film, an orchestral score for the 1925 MGM epic Ben Hur, receives its world premiere at the Virginia Arts Festival. The monumental, 90-minute performance features Copeland on drum set and percussion alongside the Virginia Arts Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Kaufmann.

 BEN-HUR, A Tale of the Christ
MGM’s silent classic film
Orchestral score composed and performed by
STEWART COPELAND, Drums and percussion Originally composed in 2010 for the "Ben-Hur Live" arena spectacle, the Virginia Arts Festival commissioned Copeland to orchestrate and adapt his propulsive, intense score — as well as the film itself — for concert performance.

Copeland writes:
I felt strongly that the symphonic score I had composed [for "Ben-Hur Live"] deserved a life of its own. I had seen Fred Niblo's classic original version of this famous story and had been overwhelmed by its scale. Even now, almost a century after it was made the film is enormous, even to modern eyes. Watching all of those same scenes that I had scored for a different medium, I couldn't help but hear my music working with Ramon Novarro's portrayal of Judah and Fred Niblo's depiction of [Lew] Wallace's book.
A recipient of the Hollywood Film Festival's first Outstanding Music in Film Visionary Award and a 2003 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stewart Copeland — the former drummer and founder of The Police — has been responsible for some of the film world's most innovative and groundbreaking scores. His career includes the sale of more than 60 million records worldwide, and numerous awards, including five Grammy awards.Learn more:
   Virginia Arts Festival
   Schirmer Theatrical

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