October 29, 2008
American Youth Symphony Salutes Jerry Goldsmith
Three-year project includes concerts and symposiums
LOS ANGELES—The American Youth Symphony, in partnership with The Film Music Society, will launch a three-year, multi-disciplinary project celebrating the music of Jerry Goldsmith with a symposium and concert on Dec. 7 at Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles. Both events are free of charge.
Oscar-nominated composer David Newman, president of both the AYS and FMS, will conduct newly assembled suites from Goldsmith's original, Oscar-nominated scores for A Patch of Blue, The Sand Pebbles and Patton, along with excerpts from Planet of the Apes and The Blue Max that Goldsmith himself arranged for concert performance.
In addition, Newman will – as part of an afternoon symposium on Goldsmith's early career – conduct, live to film, a complete performance of one of the composer's most famous television scores: His music for "The Invaders" episode of The Twilight Zone.
The Dec. 7 event marks the beginning of a three-year AYS project focusing on Goldsmith, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning composer of such classic films as Planet of the Apes, Patton, Chinatown, The Omen, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and more than 150 others. One of the most respected composers in Hollywood history, Goldsmith died in 2004.
Newman has divided Goldsmith's career into thirds. This year's event will focus on Goldsmith's work in television and his early career in feature films, from the late 1950s through 1970. Next year, the focus will shift to the 1970s and early 1980s; and in the following year, the 1980s and beyond.
For the Dec. 7 concert (7 p.m.), Newman has gone back to Goldsmith's original sketches and scores and prepared new, never-before-heard suites from three classic, Oscar-nominated Goldsmith scores: A Patch of Blue (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966) and Patton (1970). In addition, Goldsmith's own suite from Planet of the Apes (1968) and an excerpt from The Blue Max (1966) will be featured. Harmonica virtuoso Tommy Morgan, who performed the solos for the original Patch of Blue film score, will reprise his role as soloist in the concert.
The concert will also feature Alexander Treger conducting the AYS, with violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn, in music of Samuel Barber, John Corigliano and Pablo de Sarasate.
The afternoon symposium, sponsored by The Film Music Society, will be moderated by journalist and film-music historian Jon Burlingame. Featured panelists will be composer Robert Drasnin, who worked on the original Twilight Zone and who knew Goldsmith well; Marc Scott Zicree, author of The Twilight Zone Companion, the definitive history of the show; Robert Townson, producer for the Varese Sarabande record label, who worked extensively with Goldsmith; Morgan, who played harmonica for Goldsmith on Twilight Zone and who also composed for the series; and Michael Lloyd, a film composer and Goldsmith expert.
The 25-minute, live-to-film performance of Goldsmith's score for "The Invaders" by members of the AYS will be part of the two-hour symposium, beginning at 2 p.m., also in Royce Hall. Clips from Goldsmith's other work for the Rod Serling series will also be featured.
"The Invaders," written by Richard Matheson, is a what-if drama about a lonely old woman (Agnes Moorhead) whose simple farm life is disturbed by the arrival of a flying saucer containing tiny creatures whom she attempts to destroy. There is very little dialogue, so Goldsmith's music – his single most famous score for CBS, where he was under contract throughout the late 1950s – is critical in providing atmosphere and suspense. The episode originally aired on Jan. 27, 1961.
After the performance, Newman will join the panel for the discussion of Goldsmith's music and the specific challenges associated with that show. "We want to show how unique this music is, and give it a context, filmic as well as historic," Newman said.
The American Youth Symphony is one of the nation's most prestigious artistic institutions for young people: a rigorous training program for some of the country's best, pre-professional musical artists. AYS is the only Los Angeles youth orchestra that performs large-scale works. AYS alumni are members of the finest professional orchestras in the world. More information is available at http://www.AYSymphony.org or (310) 470-2332.
The Jerry Goldsmith Project is supported in part by BMI.