"Copeland’s brave new work …an astounding creation of 90 minutes of orchestrated music revealed that he had studied and adapted his approach to the film itself…. To get into this game requires guts…. Just to see the 1925 classic in such pristine quality was, alone, worth all the effort. No one who experienced this evening can write it off as less than extraordinary. It is the kind of "event" that the Virginia Arts Festival is becoming known for - unexpected and daring. Ben-Hur's horses run even faster when they have a beat." The Virginian Pilot

BEN HUR
MGM's 1925 silent classic
Orchestral score composed & performed by
STEWART COPELAND
Starring Roman Navarro
And Directed by Fred Niblo

Special Thanks to Warner Brothers

“Ben Hur is a picture that rises above spectacle, even though it is spectacle. On the screen it isn’t the chariot race or the great battle scenes between the fleet of Rome and the pirate galleys of Golthar. It is the tremendous heart throbs that one experiences leading to those scenes that make them great.” Variety Magazine

Fred Niblo’s 1925 film “Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ” was the most expensive silent film ever made, with an enormous cast and crew and a visual scope that is breathtaking to this day. In 2010 legendary drummer and film score composer, Stewart Copeland was asked to compose a score for an arena spectacle of the original book including the iconic chariot scene and marine battle. It ran throughout Europe including Munich, Rome and the O2 Arena in London. And now Copeland has been commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival to edit the Niblo classic film and re-assemble his score for live performance with orchestra. As a film composer, Copeland has worked with many of the greatest film directors of our generation, including Francis Ford Coppola and Oliver Stone. His score for Ben-Hur is dramatic, tuneful, and complements the film beautifully. The film, now at eighty-five minutes, and an intermission, will feature Stewart Copeland on drum set and percussion as well as full symphony orchestra. This is a project that for the first time combines Copeland’s many talents in composition, orchestration, film scoring, film editing, and of course, his remarkable virtuosity behind the drums.

 

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