Touring China with American film music

Posted on: January 9, 2014

In Wednesday’s (1/8) Los Angeles Times (subscription required) Julie Makinen writes about a “blitzkrieg winter tour of China” by the American Hollywood Film Orchestra “to more than dozen cities from late December to mid-January, offering up crowd-pleasing medleys from movies such as ‘Titanic,’ ‘Dances With Wolves,’ ‘The Incredibles,’ and ‘The Godfather.’ … The orchestra’s grueling schedule—5:30 a.m. wake-ups, 11 p.m. dinners, with travel rehearsal and performances in between—attests to the popularity of Hollywood fare in China as well as the seemingly insatiable demand for Western orchestral music as the country invests heavily in new concert venues and classical music education…. Also known as the Hollywood Concert Orchestra and the Hollywood Festival Orchestra, the movie-themed ensemble has been making the rounds in China for several years.” The ensemble’s conductor is Jason Altieri, an assistant conductor of the Reno Philharmonic, and its musicians include Stephen Charpie, a retired trumpet player from the Long Beach Symphony, and Jack Cobos, a former violinist with the Chattanooga Symphony. “ ‘Traveling orchestras are rare dinosaurs indeed,’ said [percussionist Chris Nolan]. ‘I like the fact that I’m doing something that has been done since the Middle Ages … bringing music to the masses, and in this case, from across the world. It’s fun and ennobling, in spite of the hardships.’ ”

Posted January 9, 2014