Classical music

Andrea Morricone's charity tribute concert in Hong Kong to father Ennio's work

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 May, 2015, 6:48am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 May, 2015, 11:42am

The connection between the worlds of classical concert music and film scores is well established - not surprisingly given the classical training of most noted composers for the screen.

Andrea Morricone, who has composed concert works for classical ensembles ranging from orchestras to trios, duos and solo instrumentalists and choirs, has film music in his blood. His father is Ennio Morricone, the composer of more than 500 scores for film and television, as well as concert works of his own.

In 1991, father and son jointly won a best film music Bafta award for their work on the soundtrack to Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988). Expect to hear some of those tracks in a new arrangement for piano, clarinet and orchestra at a concert on May 29 at the Academy for Performing Arts in support of several charities.

The featured soloist in the "Concert for Cause Gala - Timeless Masterpieces of Cinema Music" performance, which marks Morricone's Asia debut, is clarinettist Seunghee Lee. Local pianists Julie Kuok and Hui Ling will put in a guest appearance while the orchestra will be made up of professional musicians from across the city.

Lee is also the founder of the "Concert for Cause" series, which began four years ago with lower profile events in support of Hong Kong charities that are, as she puts it, "making a difference, one concert at a time".

A Hong Kong resident, the Korean-American musician has recorded three classical CDs; the most recent - Hidden Treasures, featuring piano and clarinet duets with pianist Evan Solomon - was independently released under her own label via CD Baby in 2014. It made number 2 on Hong Kong Records' classical and jazz music chart, and remained in the top 10 for more than 10 weeks.

The silver screen score tunes are something of a departure for Lee, whose recordings to date have drawn exclusively on the classical concert repertoire, although she says that the Cinema Paradiso theme is one of her favourite pieces.

Morricone has arranged several other notable pieces of film music that will be performed during the concert, including his father's Gabriel's Oboe, which first appeared in the score for Roland Joffe's 1986 film, The Mission, and some of Nino Rota's Oscar winning music from The Godfather.

Also featured will be his own La Festa Waltz from L'Industriale (The Entrepreneur), a 2011 film directed by Giuliano Montaldo. The score earned Morricone an Italian Golden Globe award in 2012.

He has clearly followed in his father's footsteps, but has also succeeded in establishing an identity of his own. As a conductor, he is considered by some reviewers to have the more passionately expressive style of the two.

"I have an immense, profound respect for my father as a legendary composer," says Morricone.

"Since childhood I have thought that my music would be a continuation of the musical torch ignited and carried by my father.

"It seems that I am now running forward with his musical ideas and at the same time forging new musical frontiers through innovation, creating the music of the future. I have learned much from him, for which I am deeply grateful."

The net proceeds of the concert will be donated to charities such as Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong, New Sight Congo and The Children's Medical Foundation.

"Concert for Cause - Timeless Masterpieces of Cinema Music", May 29, 8pm, HK Academy for Performing Arts, Amphitheatre, 1 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai, HK$420-HK$1,080. Inquiries: 3128 8288