Academy Award-winning actor, Dustin Hoffman, served as Honorary Chair along with co-chairmen HAnna Kennedy and Roger L. Mayer, as the comic genius of Charlie Chaplin was featured at Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra during the 20th Annual Silent Film Celebration.
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra celebrated two decades of marrying classic silent films with the exquisite musicianship of the Chamber Orchestra, on Sunday, June 7 at Royce Hall at 6:30 PM. Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman served as the Honorary Chairman of Los Angeles' landmark musical event.
LACO launched the special anniversary evening with a special showing of one of the greatest silent films of all time, Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925). Conductor-composer Timothy Brock led the musicians of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra as they accompany the film, playing Chaplin's original musical score, restored and adapted by Brock. Film and music fans will enjoy a freshly minted 2008 print of the film, generously donated by the Association Chaplin of Paris.
The Gold Rush is one of the best-known and most-loved silent films in history. The film stars Chaplin as The Lone Prospector, described by the Chaplin Studios as "a valiant weakling" seeking his fortune during the quest for gold in the Alaskan wilderness. The film features such iconic scenes as those of a starving Chaplin attempting to eat his shoe and performing a charming dance of the dinner rolls. Chaplin historian, Jeffrey Vance reported that the shoes used in the filming were made of licorice and Chaplin, the perfectionist, did so many takes that he had to take a day off as the licorice had a laxitive effect on the celebrated actor/director.
The Silent Film Celebration is a beloved event in Los Angeles each year, bringing together music lovers, film aficionados, Hollywood celebrities, and film and music industry heavyweights to celebrate both the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and classic silent films. The evening always features exhilarating live performances of each film's score by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
The event's supporters have included the biggest names in the entertainment industry-Chevy Chase, Tom Cruise, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, Norman Jewison, Eddie Murphy, Victoria Principal, Rob Reiner, Martin Scorsese, Ben Stiller and Barbra Streisand, among others-as well as independent production and post-production companies, major studios and film-restoration laboratories.
Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman has served as Honorary Chairman since the year 2000. Hoffman's support of the event is virtually unparalleled: He began bringing his family to the Silent Film in the late 90s and has often expressed his belief that modern audiences should have the opportunity to watch great silent films as they were supposed to be seen-in a darkened theater, surrounded by an enthusiastic audience, with musicians performing the film's score.
Longtime LACO board member HAnna Kennedy, who pioneered the Silent Film Celebration in 1990, serves as co-chairman of the event, along with former Turner Entertainment Co. president Roger Mayer-the Chairman of the National Film Preservation Foundation and the 2005 recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards.
Established in 1968, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 40th anniversary season this year. It is one of the most widely respected chamber orchestras in the country. Under the guidance of music director Jeffrey Kahane and the leadership of executive director Andrea Laguni, the Orchestra performs 15 concerts each September through May at UCLA's Royce Hall and the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale, a family concert series at the Alex, a Baroque series at Zipper Concert Hall and a chamber music series at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. In 2002, the Orchestra was invited to appear on Carnegie Hall's Chamber Music series and in 2008, undertook a successful tour to Europe appearing in the musical capitals of France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain.
LACO has also broadened its audience base with extensive community outreach and educational programs at home, as well as local and national broadcasts. Each spring, the Silent Film Celebration attracts new fans to the Chamber Orchestra. In February 2009, the GRAMMY Salute to Classical Music® presented the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with the President's Merit Award for outstanding achievement, honoring LACO for its significant contributions to classical music and the community at large.
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presented the 20th Anniversary Silent Film Celebration in cooperation with the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
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