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13. Juni 2016

Action on screen and on stage with Copeland's Ben Hur

von Philharmonie Luxemburg

We like to think that you come here for the music. Sure, a big name usually draws a bigger crowd but we try not to capitalize on that too much. We know you wouldn't be fooled by an excessive use of name-dropping. But here's one name anyway: Stewart Copeland. As in: The Police.

Fans of The Police are well aware of the contributions the drummer made to the band's discography: their first single «Fall Out», «On Any Other Day», «Does Everyone Stare» or - this time with Sting - «It's Alright for You» and «Re-Humanize Yourself» to name just a few.

But Stewart Copeland grew up with parents listening to classical music like Stravinsky and Debussy and was encouraged to take on drumming early on. «My father raised me to be a big band white jazz drummer,» Copeland explained to the Huffington Post earlier this year. «He raised me to be Buddy Rich; he had me in lessons from the start, which cured me of jazz.» So reducing his musical abilities to what he did with a pop/rock band, however successful, in the 1980s would obviously underestimate the scope of his talent.

Since The Police disbanded in 1987 Copeland has been a profilic composer: from film (Wall Street, Highlander) and TV scores (Dead like me, Babylon 5) to operas (The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado, both based on Edgar Allan Poe's stories), ballets and video games scores, he has consistently expanded his musical horizon, experimenting with orchestral music along the way. «At first, [I was] just sweetening stuff with big football notes to make it sound like a [film] score,» he says. «Gradually I got the hang of cool stuff that you could do with [strings]. It’s actually a versatile instrument, the orchestra. It has incredible dynamic range, it has enormous range of colors.»

His work on Niblo's Ben Hur started when he penned a score for a live theatrical representation of the most iconic scenes of the film that premiered at the London O2 Arena in 2009. He then worked on the film itself and the Philharmonie is very proud to host the European premiere of this new and improved score! It will be performed on Thursday June 16 by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg conducted by Richard Kaufman. Copeland himself will be there behind the drum set.

The effect Copeland is looking for with his Ben Hur? «I want 90 guys to burn down the building!» If a Los Angeles Times review of a recent performance in Northridge (California) is anything to go by, this is exactly what the audience gets: «A potent combination of the film’s still-fresh action sequences and Copeland’s sweaty, muscular performance couldn’t help but overwhelm.» A look at the video trailer below should finish to convince you. Don't miss out!


-- Julie

Tickets for this one night only show are still available through the Philharmonie's website or ticket office at (+352) 26 32 26 32.