Film with Orchestra
“The premiere here at the Film Center…was a great success…particularly because of the relatively simple set-up required for a most impressive outcome.” – Steve Apkon, Executive Director, Jacob Burns Film Center
Michael Shapiro was commissioned in 2001 by The Chappaqua Orchestra’s Boris Koutzen Memorial Fund to write the movie score for the classic film Frankenstein (1931) directed by James Whale and starring Colin Clive and Boris Karloff. The world premiere of the work with live orchestra and film occurred in October, 2002 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Jacob Burns Film Center in New York. Alternate versions are available for full orchestra, chamber orchestra, and wind ensemble.
Unlike The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) with its lush score by Franz Waxman, the original Frankenstein was produced without a movie score. Many critics, such as Leonard Maltin, have remarked that Frankenstein is badly in need of music. Mr. Shapiro’s 70-minute score is written to be played under the dialogue of the film. For modern day moviegoers, Mr. Shapiro’s haunting music adds significantly to the emotional impact of the film.
Michael Shapiro’s works, which in the aggregate address nearly every medium, have been performed widely throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe—with broadcasts of premieres on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Sender Freies Berlin, WQXR, and WCBS-TV. His music has been characterized in a New York Times review as “possessing a rare melodic gift.” His oeuvre includes more than one hundred works for solo voice, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus, orchestra, as well as for opera, film, and television, with recordings on Naxos and Paumanok Records.