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About

  • Symphonic Cinema brings to life the stories told by classical music masterpieces, through real-time synchronizations of films with live orchestra performance.


    Created with the music at heart, Symphonic Cinema performances do not prevent the musicians and conductor from expressing their own artistry; the films are controlled live in response to tempo and dynamic. Audiences are invited to challenge their associations and relationship with the music, as the films amplify the narrative power of the music, visualizing a world behind the notes.

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  • Symphonic Cinema is the concept of Dutch film-maker Lucas van Woerkum. Lucas studied Film Directing at the Utrecht School of the Arts, and French Horn at Fontys Conservatory Tilburg. His films have included music documentaries for television on composers Arvo Pärt, Willem Jeths, Michel van der Aa and Alfons Diepenbrock. Lucas’ Symphonic Cinema films are largely inspired by ‘fantasy-realism’ and a desire to held to guide audiences to a deeper connection with great classical music.


    Symphonic Cinema debuted in 2010, and in 2015 the first feature-length production (Stravinsky The Firebird) received five sell-out performances at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Symphonic Cinema films include Rachmaninov The Isle of the Dead, Stravinsky The Firebird (suite and original versions) and Ravel Daphnis et Chloé suite. A new work based on biographical elements from the lives of Gustav and Alma Mahler and their young daughter Maria titled The Echo of Being premiered at the 2020 Mahler festival with The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and featured the symphonic poem Totenfeier (Funeral Rites), as well as selections from Mahler’s Symphony No.4 and Symphony No.9.


    Symphonic Cinema has been championed by conductors such as Mark Wigglesworth and Jun Märkl, who enjoy the flexibility in performance and the collaborative nature of working with Lucas as ‘image-soloist’ to shape the film to their interpretation.


    "What’s wonderful about the collaboration is that Lucas with his technology can follow the music in a way that the musicians still have the freedom to express themselves" Mark Wigglesworth (Conductor), October 2014


    Symphonic Cinema is produced by highly experienced production team based at Amsterdam Studios, the oldest film studios in The Netherlands. Production credits of the team include over 40 international feature films, over 1000 commercials and corporate films, a number of television series and professional work alongside acclaimed film directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.

    2020/21 season / 386 words. Not to be altered without permission

Performances

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Past Performances

February 2020 (2 performances)
Mahler: The Echo of Being (60’)
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Cond. Antony Hermus
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


November 2019 (2 performances)
Stravinsky, The Firebird original version, 1910 (60’)
Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Cond. Gergely Madaras
Salle Philharmonique, Liège
Palais des beaux-arts, Brussels 


January 2019
Stravinsky, The Firebird original version, 1910 (60’)
Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé, Suites (20’)
BBC Philharmonic, Cond. Ben Gernon
The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester


May 2018 (2 performances)
Stravinsky, The Firebird original version, 1910 (60’)
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Antony Hermus
cultuurcentrum Hasselt, Hasselt & Queen Elisabeth Hall, Antwerp


April 2018 (2 performances)
Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé (60’)
Netherlands Philharmonic, Cond. Benjamin Wallfisch
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


September & October 2017 (3 performances)
Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé, Suites (20’)
South Netherlands Philharmonic, Cond. Dmitri Liss
Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht & Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven

April 2017 (2 performances)
Stravinsky, The Firebird original version, 1910 (50’)
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Ben Gernon
Barbican, London


July 2016
Rachmaninov, The Isle of the Dead (20')
Stravinsky, The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
China NCPA Orchestra, Cond. Li Biao
National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing


September 2015
Stravinsky, The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
South Netherlands Philharmonic, Cond. Lukasz Borowicz
Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht

September 2015
Stravinsky, The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
South Netherlands Philharmonic, Cond. Lukasz Borowicz
Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, Eindhoven

April 2015
Stravinsky, The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
South Denmark Philharmonic, Cond. Ville Matsvejeff
Alsion, Sønderborg


January & February 2015 (5 performances)
Stravinsky, The Firebird original version, 1910 (50’)
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Cond. Pablo González
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


December 2014
Stravinsky, The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, Cond. Karel Deseure
De Singel, Antwerp
Concertgebouw, Bruges
BOZAR, Brussels 


October 2014
Rachmaninov, The Isle of the Dead (20’)
Stravinsky, The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Cond. Mark Wigglesworth
Vredenburg, Utrecht


August 2013
Rachmaninov, The Isle of the Dead (20')
Piano duo Scholtes & Janssens
Grachtenfestival Amsterdam


June 2012
Rachmaninov, The Isle of the Dead (20')
Piano duo Kuyvenhoven and Beeftink
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


February 2011
Rachmaninov, The Isle of the Dead (20')
Residentie Orchestra, Cond. Jun Märkl
Dr Anton Philipszaal, The Hague

Film Director and Producers

Lucas van Woerkum (1982) studied Film Directing at the Utrecht School of the Arts, and French Horn at Fontys Conservatory Tilburg. Lucas makes dramafilms based on symphonic music and directs music documentaries. He graduated in 2004 with the film Mahler: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. The film portrays Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Mahler’s 9th symphony. The film premiered in the Holland Festival and was shown in the Auditorium of the Louvre in Paris. 


Lucas has made music documentaries for television on composers Arvo Pärt, Willem Jeths and Michel van der Aa. In 2007 Lucas turned his focus to drama films after being selected by the Dutch Filmfund to direct the short film To Anna. Since then, he transforms stories in classical music into film scenarios. These Symphonic Cinema films are projected in concert halls where Lucas performs the editing of the films live from within the orchestra. Highlights in this new genre include The Isle of the Dead (2011), Firebird (2014) and Daphnis & Chloé (2017).


Symphonic Cinema is produced by Wim Lehnhausen (1957) & Dik van der Stroom (1959). Their film credits are diverse, and include over 40 international feature films, at least 1000 commercials & corporate films and a number of television series, including working alongside internationally acclaimed film directors including Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott and John Badham, as well as actors such as Colin Firth, Val Kilmer and Stephen Fry.


In 2010 Dik and Wim took over Amsterdam Studios, the oldest (1932) film studios in The Netherlands. Since their schooldays Dik & Wim have been very close friends and together they have built up different businesses. In the early nineties they established a production service unit for the film industry ‘And Company Management services’ through which they made major contributions to the Dutch film industry.

Rachmaninov | The Isle of The Dead

Rachmaninov: The Isle of the Dead (20’) (Full Orchestra / Two Piano Version)


Poetic visualization of Arnold Böcklin’s painting Die Toteninsel, where the deceased on an island make the crossing to the afterlife. When a living woman arrives, the wandering souls start to haunt her. Filmed in the Etruscan area of Italy.

Stravinsky | Firebird

Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite, 1945 (28’)
Stravinsky: The Firebird-original version, 1910 (50’) 


Magical realistic film, based on Stravinsky’s L’oiseau de Feu. After the death of his wife, Emperor Kashkei lives in solitude in his memories. In a deserted castle he’s being looked after by his enchanted servants. Kashkei’s neglected daughter can’t stand this situation and uses her magical powers to confront him with his past.

Ravel | Daphnis & Chloé

Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé, Suites (30’)
Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé (60’)


Psychological drama set in our modern time. Under the influence of her digital self, Chloé loses herself in ostentation and lust that withholds her of experiencing real love. With contemporary and expressionist dance, set in surreal imagery.

Mahler | The Echo of Being

Mahler: The Echo of Being, set to Totenfeier / Symphony no. 4 - Poco Adagio / Symphony no. 9 - Adagio (70')


The Echo of Being is based on biographical elements from the lives of Gustav and Alma Mahler and their young daughter Maria. Van Woerkum’s work is a reflection on life, death, and everything after that. The score consists of Totenfeier (Funeral Rites), as well as selections from Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 as well as from his last work, the Symphony no. 9.

Neil Mackinnon
Head of Special Projects (maternity cover)
+44 20 7608 9932
nmackinnon@intermusica.co.uk

Elizabeth Ng
Associate Artist & Project Manager, imagine (on temporary leave)
+44 20 7608 9938
eng@intermusica.co.uk

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