Cleveland Orchestra musicians to participate in Cleveland Silent Film Festival

Posted on: February 9, 2022

“When we think of film composers, the names Miklós Rózsa, John Williams, and Randy Newman immediately come to mind. But who were the important composers from the silent era?” writes Mike Telin in Tuesday’s (2/8) Cleveland Classical. “Next week, a consortium of area arts organizations will come together to present … the inaugural Cleveland Silent Film Festival and Colloquium [which] will focus on the music of Cleveland native and film music pioneer John Stepan Zamecnik. The Festival kicks off on … February 13 … when violinist Isabel Trautwein and other members of the Cleveland Orchestra will join Rodney Sauer, music director of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra [a chamber ensemble that performs the repertoire of silent-film orchestras], in a concert of chamber works by Zamecnik and his mentor, Antonín Dvořák…. The Mont Alto Orchestra will also perform Zamecnik’s music during a showing of the Buster Keaton classic Steamboat Bill, Jr.… The initial idea that led to the creation of the Festival came from Emily Laurance, a visiting associate professor of musicology at Oberlin Conservatory.… What makes Zamecnik’s music different from other silent film composers?… ‘When you need a heart-rending scene or a really good sorrow theme, he always picks up on the emotions,’ Sauer said.”