Yorkshire Silent Film Festival 2017: our musical performers and composers
Yorkshire Silent Film Festival celebrates and fosters the craft of live musical accompaniment to silent film. Most of our screenings are accompanied by one of our team of improvising musicians, sometimes working as solo performers and sometimes in duos and trios. We're also pleased to welcome two orchestras to this year's festival, playing scores by Neil Brand and Laura Rossi. .
Monty Adkins is a sound artist based in the north of England. His work is characterised by slow shifting organic textures drawing influences from ambient music to microsound. He has released albums with Cronica (Portugal), Audiobulb (UK), Signature (France) and empreintes DIGITALes (Canada). He is particularly interested in working with other artists across disciplines. He has produced sound for short films, installations as well as performance pieces.
neil brand (piano And composer)
Neil Brand has been a silent film accompanist for over 30 years, at film festivals and special events around the world. The BBC Symphony Orchestra has performed all his orchestral scores, from Anthony Asquith's Underground to Hitchcock's silent Blackmail and Chaplin's Easy Street, as well as his through-scored BBC radio adaptations, The Wind in the Willows and A Christmas Carol. Neil is currently scoring Douglas Fairbanks' Robin Hood for the Barbican, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Cohen Collection. Neil is well known as a TV presenter on BBC4 with his two hugely successful series, Sound of Cinema - The Music that Made the Movies, and Sound of Song. He's a Fellow of the Aberystwyth University and a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music.
elizabeth-jane baldry (HARP)
The Lodger (Hebden Bridge and York), 7th Heaven (Leyburn), Tall Tales and Incredible Journeys (Halifax and York), Dragnet Girl (Sheffield)
Elizabeth-Jane Baldry is a British harpist and composer whose silent film scores include Peter Pan, Nosferatu, Cottage on Dartmoor, Phantom of the Opera, Sunrise, and Thief of Bagdad. Her compositions have been used by ITV, the BBC and by Irish, Japanese, Danish and Canadian film, radio and television.'“She can draw more tone colours out of the instrument than any other harpist living in the world today” - David Watkins, professor of harp, Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Elizabeth-Jane is a Yorkshire Silent Film Festival Associate Musician.
TREVOR BARTLETT (PERCUSSION)
Trevor began playing percussion at the age of 6 after becoming fascinated with it after hearing the marimba being played on the radio. In 2011 he graduated with a Masters Degree in Percussion performance from the Royal Northern College of Music – the same institution he completed his undergraduate studies – where he was awarded a scholarship to study. He has an active solo career, as well as performing regularly with a number of chamber ensembles including Harp and Percussion Duo Sticks&Strings and Manchester based contemporary group Sounds of the Engine House. As well as his solo and chamber work, Trevor currently freelances for various orchestras. Trevor is a Yorkshire Silent Film Festival Associate Musician.
Stephen has long been considered one of the leading silent film accompanists. A house pianist at London’s BFI Southbank for thirty years, he has played at all the major UK venues and recorded music for many DVD releases of silent films. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates other instruments into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. He regularly performs internationally and in recent years his accompaniments have met with acclaim at film festivals in Pordenone, Bologna, San Francisco, Telluride, Paris, Cannes, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Istanbul, Berlin and Vienna. In 2011 and 2012, Stephen was commissioned to compose ensemble scores for the London Film Festival Archive Galas of The First Born and The Manxman. In 2012 his accompaniment for Rotaie won the main prize at the Bonn Sommerkino Festival while for three years, from 2014 to 2016, he has been named best solo accompanist in the Silent London end-of-year poll.
MEG MORLEY (PIANO)
Meg Morley is an Australian-born improvising pianist and composer living in London. She recently released a solo piano EP, Through the Hours, comprising original compositions, which draw upon her training as a classical and an improvising pianist and with the title track evoking an iconic image of London. Meg is currently a full-time musician with English National Ballet School and also plays for various dance institutions (Rambert Company and Matthew Bourne at Sadler's Wells, Royal Ballet School etc). Her relatively new-found love of silent film has led her to perform in various UK film festivals (Flatpack, Borderlines) and last year she participated in Pordenone's Aspirant Pianist Masterclasses for silent film and became a resident accompanist for the Kennington Bioscope held at the London Cinema Museum.
COLIN SELL (PIANO)
Colin Sell is perhaps best known in the UK as the much-maligned pianist on BBC Radio 4’s comedy show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, which he joined in 1975. He subsequently became accompanist for Barry Cryer and Willie Rushton in their stage show, Two Old Farts in the Night, and has continued as Barry’s pianist in his one-person shows. He has also accompanied many performers in cabaret, including Dora Bryan and Sheila Steafel. Since the early ‘70s he has worked extensively in regional and touring theatres as MD, arranger and frequently composer. Colin has also provided scores for many radio plays and he has been increasingly invited to accompany silent films, which he has done at many cinemas and events, including the Barbican, Bristol Slapstick Festival and the Shoreditch Festival.
JONATHAN BEST (PIANO)
Jonathan studied at the Chethams School of Music and University of London and is currently a research student and improvisation tutor at the University of Huddersfield music department. He's worked in theatre, opera, music and arts festivals in a variety of roles, including periods on staff with National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera, Royal Opera, Opera North, and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. He's led a series of festivals as Artistic Director or Executive Producer, including Festival of the North East and Queer Up North International Festival, commissioning more than 100 new works of theatre and music from artists and performers around the globe. Jonathan is the Director of Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, a Clore Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Musica Youth Orchestra
Musical Director - Thom Meredith
Leader - Benedict Stubbs
Musica Youth Orchestra, under the umbrella of Musica Kirklees, was founded in September 2000 as Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra. Its aim is to provide high quality orchestral opportunities for the students in the area who have reached advanced standards of performance. MYO is directed by Thom Meredith, Principal of Musica Kirklees. It embraces a variety of genres and styles, from classical to contemporary, film and popular and engages in project work with other arts organisations and complementary groups. MYO has performed major works such as Bruch Violin Concerto with Atsuko Sahara; Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto with John Lill; The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins and The Mighty Sky with Grammy nominee Beth Nielsen Chapman. The orchestra performs regularly in Huddersfield Town Hall and this year MYO will be on tour in the Loire region of France. Each section of the orchestra is coached by a separate member of staff and the string section is an orchestra in its own right (Musica Youth Strings).
Orchestra of St Paul's
OSP (the Orchestra of St Paul's) is one of London's most dynamic and versatile chamber orchestras. Under the baton of Artistic Director Ben Palmer, the orchestra has developed a reputation for imaginative programming and exciting, stylish performances. OSP has made a speciality of performing films live to picture, with screenings of Casablanca, Psycho, The Gold Rush, Peter and the Wolf, The Snowman, and, later this season, a triple bill of Chaplin Mutuals with music by Carl Davis. Future plans include a screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at the Royal Festival Hall, and the DVD/Blu-ray release of Neil Brand's score for The Lodger for The Criterion Collection.
Laura Rossi (Composer)
Laura Rossi has written music extensively for film and television, including the critically acclaimed London to Brighton, The Eichmann Show, starring Martin Freeman and Anthony LaPaglia and Song for Marion, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp. She has also scored many silent films including the British Film Institute's Silent Shakespeare and the famous IWM 1916 films The Battle of the Somme and The Battle of the Ancre. Her latest work Voices of Remembrance is a choral/orchestral work featuring war poems read by Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave. The music was commissioned by Boosey and Hawkes to mark the Centenary of the First World War. Laura's music has been recorded and performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Musici Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Her works have been performed at the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. Laura is also lecturer for film music at the London Film Academy.