West Michigan Symphony to present State Premiere of acclaimed program featuring legendary filmmaker Charlie Chaplin’s original music
Muskegon, Michigan, March 6, 2023— Did you know that Charlie Chaplin, one of the greatest silent movie actors and most iconic figures of the early film industry, was also a talented composer? To celebrate Chaplin’s 134th birthday, Music Director Scott Speck and the West Michigan Symphony will present the Michigan premiere of classical violinist Philippe Quint’s critically acclaimed multimedia program Chaplin’s Smile. Sponsored by Hines Corporation, the concert will be held at 7:30pm Friday, March 24 at the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Avenue. The 2022-2023 Season is sponsored by Mike and Kay Olthoff. For tickets, starting at $19 for adults, $10 for students, call 231.727.8001, visit the Frauenthal box office or purchase online at www.westmichigansymphony.org.
Philippe Quint’s unique arrangements of songs from Chaplin’s most celebrated films (Modern Times, City Lights, Monsieur Verdoux, The Kid, Limelight, and A King in New York) are interspersed with rare footage of the actor, along with still images and video clips from his films. The program also features music by composers who influenced Chaplin’s musical style – Brahms, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Gershwin.
“I think it’s amazing my grandfather, Charlie Chaplin is still around and loved by so many, that many years after his first movie was made, he still surprises people,” reflects granddaughter Kiera Chaplin. “Philippe Quint’s new multimedia program is allowing him to be discovered by a whole new audience as a talented composer, a side of him many people did not know.”
Chaplin loved music and grew up surrounded by it. Both his parents were music hall entertainers, and he sang onstage and taught himself violin at an early age. As a filmmaker, he enjoyed complete control of his art: he came up with the ideas, scripted the films, acted, directed, produced, and edited them. For the silent films that made up his early works, he would send cue sheets to theaters indicating what music the in-house pianist should use to accompany each moment. Once silent films made way for “talkies,” Chaplin seized the opportunity to directly control the music that accompanied his moving pictures. Despite his lack of musical training, Chaplin developed a distinct musical style. And he was a masterful borrower: he frequently quoted or alluded to music by composers as diverse as Debussy, Brahms, Elgar, and Gershwin.
Multi-Grammy Award nominee violinist Philippe Quint is internationally recognized for his unique and insightful approach to standard repertoire, championing and rediscovering neglected repertoire and embarking on imaginative, exciting journeys of explorations and collaborations with artists of different genres. “Truly phenomenal” is how BBC Music Magazine recently described him. An American violinist of Russian heritage, Quint is constantly in demand and regularly appears with major orchestras and conductors worldwide at venues ranging from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig to Carnegie Hall in New York.
Scott Speck and Philippe Quint will discuss the program during a free Lunch ‘n Learn at The Block at noon Wednesday, March 22, sponsored by Embark Financial Partners with delicious small bites by Kuntry Cookin’. RSVP for this free event online at bit.ly/3kTYhjo