Magazine article Screen International

Krakow’s Film and Music Festival Composes Itself

Magazine article Screen International

Krakow’s Film and Music Festival Composes Itself

Article excerpt

Running from May 27-31, the event brought together more than 58 international composers - including Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Mon Roi), Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones), JeffBeal (House of Cards), John Lunn (Downton Abbey) and Trevor Morris (The Borgias, The Tudors) - for a culmination of performances, panels and master classes.

"Composers are not often given the attention they deserve," said Artistic Director Robert Piaskowski. "So we wanted to create a space that presents film music as art, and where audiences can come and appreciate a score's symphonic sounds."

Piaskowski is not alone in his interests. The festival now aligns itself as the start of the season, with similar musical events taking place in Tenerife and Cordoba in July and Vienna and Gent (that also hosts the World Soundtrack Awards) in October.

""When we started, technology was not yet able to support what we wanted to do, and there was some resistance from Hollywood.

"Now we have over 800 artists on stage throughout the festival, approximately 30,000 attendees and support from companies like HBO, BMI and American Music Awards (AMAs)," added Piaskowski.


Taking place in both Krakow and neighbouring city Katowice, festival go-ers had the option of listening to compositions from films by Krakow's Oscar-winning director Andrzej Wajda.

Video game fans were tempted with a sold-out show from Critical Hit - the American band known for its musical themes to Angry Birds, Tetris and other gaming favourites, while young students from local academies performed works by Polish composer Michal Lorenc.

Bigger in scale - The International TV Series Gala brought over 12,000 people to see composers such as JeffBeal conduct his own scores to Rome and House of Cards; Daniel Licht utilise scissors and knives in his creative instrumentation of Dexter and Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson riffon the piano while his sister led the vocals to overlaying scenes from Chicago Fire.


Academy Award winning composer Elliot Goldenthal (Frida, Titus), who was on hand with partner and film-maker Julie Taymor, was revered with the first annual Wojciech Kilar Award.

Diego Navarro - film music composer, conductor and artistic director of Tenerife International Film Music Festival - was praised with the Ambassador statuette, giving a nod to his efforts in strengthening international ties in the music industry.

And in its third year, the Young Talent Award was given to Antonio Di Iorio (Italy) for his compositional extract to The Borgias. …

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