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Saturday 23 September 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall  
Sponsored by  Dr George Piskov of Uniastrum

A Russian extravaganza at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 September will celebrate the world premiere of a new animated film of Peter and the Wolf , and mark the 70th anniversary since the work was first commissioned and performed in Moscow.  The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Musical Director Mark Stephenson, has recorded the soundtrack but will perform live Prokofiev's classic score alongside this first showing of the film.  The special cinema and live music event will also feature one of the brightest young rising Russian stars Eduard Kunz, 25 year old pianist, playing Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2 and the Philharmonia Orchestra will complete the Russian programme with Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

The exciting film with vibrant animation that leaps from the screen is produced by BreakThru Films and directed by BAFTA winning director Suzie Templeton.  Tickets are available from The Royal Albert Hall Box Office on 020 7589 8212,  Prices range from £38 to £10.

 David Whelton, Managing Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, commented:
“This exciting opportunity to combine live music and a worldwide premiere of an innovative animated film of Peter and the Wolf is a project that builds on the Philharmonia Orchestra’s commitment to bring classical music, and in particular live performance, to new audiences in a fresh and dynamic form. The traditional story is vividly animated with a contemporary approach and the score remains a perfect introduction to the orchestra and its individual instruments.
“But this is much more than an educational project. It will bring back fond childhood memories for us all and celebrates the richness of Prokofiev’s wonderful music enjoyed by young and old alike, 70 years on from its first performance in Moscow.”
The film uses stop-frame model animation (a technique popularized by Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations) made at the Oscar winning Se-Ma-For animation studios in Poland using cutting edge digital techniques. Whilst staying true to Prokofiev’s classic story the film provides some 21st century twists and an environmental theme. Producer Alan Dewhurst describes their search for animators: “The work of Se-Ma-For really jumped out at us: aesthetically and in their level of craft and artistry, it was exactly what we were looking for.” Filming in Se-Ma-For’s Polish studios echoes the eastern European origins of the story and truly captures the magic of Prokofiev’s script.

The film’s director, Suzie Templeton, has won over 30 international awards and a Best Animation BAFTA Award for her short film Dog. Peter and the Wolf is produced by Alan Dewhurst and Hugh Welchman at BreakThru Films. Welchman’s film Crowstone won the Cinefoundation Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also produced two films for and starring the Monty Python team. Dewhurst previously set up and ran Europe’s leading commercials animation company Passion Pictures. BreakThru Films has since made four award-winning short films and a feature-length documentary. Oscar-winning Se-Ma-For Studios in Poland has made over 1,400 films and won over 300 international awards.

Mark Stephenson, musical director and conductor at the premiere, is well known for his innovative approach to classical music and in particular educational and multi-media classical music ventures. Highlights include the Miracles Project with 500 young Londoners filmed at the Royal Albert Hall by London Weekend Television, and the Image Music Text project inspired by the GPO documentary film Nightmail, performed with live orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He has also conducted 18 critically acclaimed CDs with the orchestra he established, London Musici, which is the associate orchestra for the internationally acclaimed Rambert Dance Company.   

Eduard Kunz was born in Omsk, Russia in 1980.  He made his concerto debut with the Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 10.  His studies took him to Moscow, where he graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in 2003 and gained an entrance award for postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music.  Based in Manchester since then, Eduard has already given some notable performances in the UK; at St. David's Hall in Cardiff with the Welsh National Orchestra and Lothar Koenigs, and with the Royal Philharmonic and Gerard Schwarz.  In June of last year he made his London debut with London Musici conducted by Mark Stephenson at Cadogan Hall.  He has been a major prize winner in a succession of international piano competitions and has won numerous prestigious awards.   Eduard has just been invited to become a BBC New Generation Artist and will join the scheme in September this year.

Mark Stephenson, Musical Director for the new Peter and the Wolf  film, and conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra live on 23 September commented:
"September 23 will see a celebration of music and youth.  The animation for the new Peter and the Wolf is stunning and accompanied live by the Philharmonia Orchestra in the awesome surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall, it will be a phenomenal experience.  The film and orchestra bring this classic story vibrantly to life for a new generation, and a new audience.  Having worked with Eduard Kunz last year, I know that his performance of Rachmaninov will make the evening truly memorable.  Eduard is a young pianist destined for a remarkable career and we are fortunate indeed to witness his Royal Albert Hall debut."

The Gala Concert is Sponsored by Dr George Piskov of Uniastrum. 


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