Frank Bockius studied Rhythmik at the conservatory in Trossingen (Germany). Since then he works as a drums and percussion teacher and as a freelancing musician. Many years he worked with his own bands, the jazz quintet Whisper Hot and the percussion band Timpanicks. He also played middle age, flamenco and latin music, worked with dance companies and for theatres. Twenty years ago Günter Buchwald asked him to join his Silent Movie Music Company and since then they have worked together intensively for national and international venues and festivals. Throughout the last years Frank has also collaborated with many other great silent film musicians (e.g. Kyoto, Sodankylä, Pordenone, San Francisco).
Neil Brand has been a silent film accompanist for over thirty years, regularly in London at the Barbican and BFI National Film Theatres and at film festivals and special events around the world, including Pordenone festival where he has inaugurated the School of Music and Image to teach up-and-coming young pianists about silent film accompaniment. Training originally as an actor, he has made his name as a writer/ performer/composer, scoring many Dvd releases, most recently Sherlock Holmes (the great lost Gilette film), Ozu Classics (Criterion) and Keaton shorts for Lobster Films. The BBC Symphony Orchestra has performed all of his orchestral scores from Asquith’s Underground to Hitchcock’s silent Blackmail and Chaplin’s Easy Street (both commissioned by Il Cinema Ritrovato) as well as his through-scored BBC radio adaptations, The Wind in the Willows (Audio Drama Award Nominated) and A Christmas Carol – all of these works orchestrated and conducted by maestro Timothy Brock. In 2016, he composed the soundtrack for Fairbanks’s Robin Hood for Barbican/BBCSO/ Cohen Collection.
Matti Bye is widely recognized for having written a series of innovative scores for such early Swedish silent film classics as Phantom Carriage by Victor Sjöström, Häxan by Benjamin Christensen, and Gösta Berling Saga by Mauritz Stiller, now included on a six Dvd box set released by Svensk Filmindustri, as well as countless other silent films. In 2012 he wrote the score for Jan Troell’s latest feature Everlasting Moments and Stig Björkmans Scenes from a Playhouse, a documentary about Ingmar Bergman. Matti Bye’s work is also concerned with the tension, which exists between moving image, sound and music. He has engaged with collaborative projects involving an esthetic and performative language proper to the contemporary visual arts.
Gabriel Thibaudeau, born in 1959, Canadian composer, pianist and conductor, studied piano in Montreal at the Vincent D’Indy music school and composition at l’Université de Montréal. He started work at the age of 15 as a pianist for ballets. Since then, he has been a pianist for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, appointed pianist at La Cinémathèque Québécoise for the last 25 years and the composer in residence with L’Octuor de France for more than 15 years. Thibaudeau’s work includes music for ballets, the opera, chamber music and several orchestral compositions for silent films. His works are performed in the Americas, as well as in Europe, Asia and Africa. Several international institutions have commissioned him work, among them: Le Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Cineteca di Bologna, Le Festival de Cannes, the National Gallery in Washington, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Gabriel Thibaudeau is represented by Troublemakers Inc.
John Sweeney has played for silent film since 1990, starting at Riverside Studios in London and subsequently playing at many venues in Britain including the National Film Theatre, the Barbican Cinema, Nottingham Broadway, The Imperial War Museum, and Bristol Watershed. He has played for the British Silent Cinema Festival since it’s inception, and has since 2000 been a regular pianist at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy. He is a regular performer at the Slapstick Festival of silent comedy in Bristol, and has also played at other festivals in Austria, Germany, Italy and Slovenia. He has recorded DVDs for the British Film Institute (Wonderful London, parts of Pioneers and Primitives) and also Cineteca di Bologna (Albert Capellani) and Edition Filmmuseum (Crazy Cinématographe), as well as recording a soundtrack for Hitchcock’s Downhill for broadcast on Sky Tv. He is one of the founders of the Kennington Bioscope, doing regular screenings of neglected silent films at the Cinema Museum London with live music.
Antonio Coppola began to study the piano at a very early age. In 1965 he enrolled in the Santa Cecilia Conservatory, and followed courses in piano performance, composition and orchestral conducting until 1977. In 1975 the Rome Cineclub L’officina invited him to perform as piano accompanist for a series of silent film retrospectives. He was so fascinated and inspired by this experience that he gave up all other musical activities in order to devote himself exclusively to creating soundtracks for silent cinema. From that time onwards, Antonio Coppola has been the guest of film festivals and retrospectives all over the world, both as a musician and as a member of juries, as well as having been engaged by a number of film archives and universities as a research consultant on the restoration of original soundtrack. He has also taught at workshops and given papers at conferences on techniques of improvisation and the composition of soundtracks for silent cinema.
Donald Sosin, composer, keyboards, arranger and conductor, grew up in New York and Munich. He has performed at Il Cinema Ritrovato each year since 1999, often joined by his wife, singer Joanna Seaton. They also appear at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Lincoln Center, MoMA, MOMI, the National Gallery, and film festivals on three continents including Telluride, Jecheon (South Korea), Seattle, San Francisco, Moscow, and college campuses like Yale, Harvard, Brown and Emory. The couple leads music workshops around the US. Sosin received the Career Achievement Award in 2016 from the Denver Silent Film Festival and he scored Chaplin’s The Pawnshop for the touring edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato at Brown University in March. Sosin’s orchestral score for Sherlock Holmes premiered in the 2016 summer at the Odessa International Film Festival. Dvd releases of his soundtracks scores include Keaton films for Lobster and Ten Nights in a Bar Room for KinoLorber’s African-American set. Other commissions: Chicago Symphony Chorus, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, MoMA, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Maud Nelissen is a Dutch composer and pianist who has particularly dedicated herself to the creation of musical accompaniment for silent films. She worked in Italy with Charlie Chaplin’s
last music arranger Eric James. Since then she has been performing at festivals and special events in Europe, America and Asia. She founded her own ensemble, The Sprockets, for silent film accompaniment, and performs with them or with various other ensembles and orchestras in Holland and abroad. Among her most notable orchestral scores is that for Erich von Stroheim’s 1925 classic The Merry Widow, interpolating themes from Franz Léhar’s operetta with the permission of the composer’s estate and The Patsy with Marion Davies.
Stephen Horne, based at London’s BFI Southbank but playing at all the major UK venues, has recorded music for Dvd releases and Tv screenings of silent films. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates flute, accordion and keyboards into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. In recent years his accompaniments have met with acclaim at film festivals in Pordenone, Telluride, San Francisco, Cannes, Hong Kong and Berlin. In 2011 and 2012, he was commissioned to compose ensemble scores for the London Film Festival Archive Galas of The First Born and The Manxman. He collaborates with a small group, which recreates magic lantern shows. He is also a specialist in dance accompaniment and plays regu-larly at the London dance academies.
Daniele Furlati, pianist and composer, has a degree in composition, piano and arrangement. He earned two diplomas with honors in courses in advanced music for film conducted by Ennio Morricone and Sergio Miceli at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. He has composed music for television commercials, short films and documentaries. His work on features includes creating the score for the film Viva San Isidro by Alessandro Cappelletti. He co-wrote, with Marco Biscarini, the music for the feature films by Giorgio Diritti Il vento fa il suo giro, L’uomo che verrà and Un giorno devi andare. He is working together with Cineteca di Bologna, playing the piano in accompaniment for silent films. In theater, he composed Asteroide Lindgren (everyone has his star) which debuted in 2007 at the Teatro Comunale in Modena and Novelle fatte al piano which had its debut in June of 2010 in Rome at the Conservatorio dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia.
Timothy Brock is an active conductor and composer who specializes in concert works of the early 20th century and live performances of silent film. As a silent-film score preservationist, his leading work in this field include the restoration of Dmitrij Šostakovič’s only silent film score, New Babylon, Manlio Mazza’s Italian epic, Cabiria, Erik Satie’s dadaist score, Entr’acte and the infamous George Antheil score to Ballet mécanique. Since 1999, he has been serving as score preservationist for the Charles Chaplin estate, and has made thirteen live-performance versions of all major Chaplin films. As a composer of original scores for silent film, Brock has written thirty-five full orchestral scores for a number of notable orchestras and institutions. He is a frequent guest conductor of such orchestras as The New York Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, Brock conducted the New York Philharmonic in Shanghai, marking the first-ever live performance of City Lights in China. In 2017 he performed the world Premieres of two newly commissioned scores, Buster Keaton’s College in Lyon with the National Orchestra, and Fritz Lang’s Frau im Mond at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Tonkünstler-Orchester.