Composer Howard Shore brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary imagination to vivid life with his Academy®- and Grammy® Award-winning score to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Shore’s music expresses Peter Jackson’s film as an immense symphonic work—a uniquely developed vision drawn from centuries of stylistic tendencies.
The music of The Lord of the Rings is counted among film music’s most complex and comprehensive works. This unique performance sets the score to the film, but allows the music to bear the narrative weight, creating a wholly new and dramatic live concert experience.
Shore’s score not only captures Fellowship’s sweeping emotion, thrilling vistas and grand journeys, but also echoes the very construction of Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Styles, instruments and performers collected from around the world provide each of Tolkien’s cultures with a unique musical imprint. In operatic fashion, these musical worlds commingle, sometimes combining forces for a culminated power, other times violently clashing… and always bending to the will of the One Ring and its own ominous family of themes.
Says Howard Shore, “My first score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience.”
Doug Adams is a Chicago-based musician and writer. He is the author of the book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.
Released on December 18, 2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first installment of Peter Jackson’s fantasy adventure film trilogy based on the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. A long-lost Ring has been found and, through twists of fate, is in the possession of a small hobbit named Frodo Baggins.
When Gandalf the grey Wizard discovers this Ring is in fact the all-powerful One Ring, Frodo must lead an epic quest to Mount Doom in order to destroy it. However he does not go alone. Frodo is joined by Gandalf, Legolas the elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir and his three hobbit friends Merry, Pippin and Samwise – the Fellowship of the Ring.
Considered one of the most ambitious projects in film history, it took eight years to bring The Lord of the Rings to the screen. The result was an artistic and popular success of the highest order. The films won a total of 17 Academy Awards®, and are among the top-grossing films of all-time.
Howard Shore conducted the world premiere performance of The Lord of the Rings Symphony in Wellington, New Zealand in November 2003 celebrating the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Since its premiere, the work has been performed by some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and in such famous venues as Moscow’s Kremlin Palace Theater, the Odeon Herod Atticus in Athens, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Cleveland’s Severance Hall. Shore’s scores for The Lord of the Rings trilogy have received four Grammy Awards and three Oscars including “Best Song” for “Into the West” as well as honors and awards from leading critic associations.
The music of Howard Shore has been performed live in concerts throughout the world. Shore performed his Oscar- and Grammy-winning score The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. Other concerts include the Seville Film Music Festival in Seville, Spain; Cinesonic’s 1st International Conference on Film Scores and Sound Design in Melbourne, Australia; and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada. In November 2000, Shore conducted the world premiere Concert to Projection of his original score to David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. The performance was part of the Belfast Festival at Queens, in Belfast, Ireland, and featured Ornette Coleman and the Ulster Orchestra. Naked Lunch Concert to Projection was performed in March 2001 at the Barbican Centre in London as part of the Barbican performance series Only Connect: A Series of Extraordinary Live Events. It was also performed at Pan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The Brood was performed as part of a David Cronenberg retrospective in Paris. It was also performed in June 2003 in Mexico City along with the world premiere of music from Spider. In addition, Shore’s chamber music has been featured on Arabesque Record’s “Reel Life – The Private Music of Film Composers Vol. 1″.
Shore received the 2005 Career Achievement for Music Composition Award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. The same year, he was also the recipient of the New York Chapter’s 2005 Recording Academy Honors. In 2007, Shore was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from York University.
A native of Lucerne, Switzerland, Ludwig Wicki was raised in a musical family where playing and singing was a part of daily life. His first influences were folk and church choir music but early on Maestro also discovered a passion for film soundtracks. He spent hours transcribing Ennio Morricone and Martin Böttcher tunes from an old LP for his school band and dreamed one day he might play in Morricone’s orchestra. His road did not lead to Rome but rather to a successful career in classical music, uncommon in its scope and diversity. Mo. Wicki began his formal musical education by studying trombone, becoming a member of the Lucerne Symphony and Opera Orchestra. Simultaneously he founded the San Marco Brass and the Philharmonic Brass Quintet to indulge his keen interest and love for chamber music. This led to a long-term affair with early music and its various interpretations, including authentic performances of renaissance and baroque repertoire for trombone and particularly the golden age of Venetian Renaissance. All these experiences reawakened and strengthened Mo. Wicki’s love of choral music and led him to study choral conducting with Professor Martin Flämig, former music director of the world-renowned Dresdner Kreuzchores in Germany. He fell under the spell of the Gregorian choral tradition and became a permanent member of the Schola Romanum Luzernsis, under the direction of Pater Roman Bannwart, a leading expert on choral music and one of the most important influences on Maestro’s development.
It was only a matter of time before Ludwig Wicki turned his attention to orchestral conducting. Having resigned from the Lucerne Symphony and Opera Orchestra after a nine-year term as a trombone player, he began to study with Dr. Ewald Körner at the Conservatory in Bern and continued with Prof. Donato Renzetti at the Academia Musicale in Pescara, Italy. When the position of the music director opened at the Palace Chapel of Lucerne, Mo. Wicki jumped at the rare chance to pursue all of his various musical interests at once. He led the Chapel choir in Gregorian chants as well as in the performances of Bach and Handel cantatas and a cappella Renaissance music by Monteverdi and Palestrina among others. He conducted the orchestra with programs that included works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Bruckner and many 20th century composers. He
inaugurated a Renaissance Ensemble Il Dolcimelo and created the “Treffpunkt Haydn” concert series.
Having developed an expansive repertoire of early, classical, avant-garde and jazz music, Maestro finds a special
pleasure in switching between styles and epochs; he rekindled his love for film music and contemplated the idea
of founding a professional orchestra that would play nothing but movie soundtracks. Ten years ago the
21st Century Symphony Orchestra was created in Lucerne; Maestro Wicki’s brainchild has been playing sold-out
concerts to mixed audiences of film fans and symphony music connoisseurs ever since.
Ludwig Wicki collaborates with such internationally renowned composers as Howard Shore, Randy Newman and Martin Böttcher. Highlights of previous seasons included world premieres of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King at KKL Luzern, the first-ever live performances of the complete original scores. The complete trilogy will be performed next year at the KKL in Luzern and in Munich. The success of these unprecedented events resulted in invitations for performances all over the world, including the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Krakow’s Sinfonietta Cracovia, the Wolf Trap Festival Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and the Winnipeg Symphony. Next season’s engagements include the U.S. premiere of The Return of the King at the Wolf Trap Festival with additional performances at the Royal Albert Hall and New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, performances of The Two Towers with the Grand Rapids Symphony and performances of The Fellowship of the Ring with the Sydney Symphony, Tampere Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony. Maestro Wicki continues to conduct performances of classical and contemporary repertoire while accompanying screenings of silent cinema classics by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
Two years ago the city of Lucerne expressed its gratitude to Maestro Wicki for his enormous contribution to its cultural life by presenting him with their Special Achievement Award.
Kaitlyn Lusk has quickly gained national acclaim and won the hearts of audiences everywhere with her incredible voice and captivating presence. Since making her major-orchestral singing debut with the Baltimore Symphony in 2003 at the age of 14, she has been sought-after for solo appearances with many of the nation’s leading orchestras. Show-stopping performances at the New Years Eve showcase with the Boston Pops led by Keith Lockhart and a follow-up engagement with the premier pops orchestra featuring her refreshing renditions of classic MGM songs made famous by the young Judy Garland garnered her standing ovations from the sold out concerts.
In her already impressive career she has demonstrated extraordinary versatility and musical depth. Since the fall of 2004, Kaitlyn has been the featured vocal soloist in Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Symphony. She has performed this role with over twenty-five orchestras in the United States and Canada from the Philadelphia Orchestra to the San Francisco Symphony, and from the Houston Symphony to the Minnesota Orchestra.
She has performed with world-class conductors including Keith Lockhart, Alexander Mickelthwate, Allaistar Willis, Stuart Malina, Nicolas Palmer, Markus Huber and in January 2007, Kaitlyn performed with Maestro John Mauceri and the legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra in her European debut in Leipzig. With the success of her debut and her return to Vienna and Krakow, she is beginning to captivate audiences not only in America, but all across the world. In the summer of 2007, as part of an encore performance of the Lord of the Rings Symphony with the world famous Cleveland Orchestra, she once again performed with Howard Shore, who in 2005 invited Kaitlyn performed the academy award winning song Into The West as part of the Grammy Honors of Howard Shore in New York City.
In addition to her live performances, Kaitlyn’s first studio album, No Looking Back, features some of the finest musicians and songwriters in the industry today. The project was produced by the award-winning composer and arranger, Kim Scharnberg, whose initial response to Kaitlyn’s voice reflects the feelings of anyone lucky enough to hear her sing: “I heard Kaitlyn’s demo,” says Scharnberg; “I had to meet her. I had to hear her sing.”
Whether it is the interpretations of her original songs, music of the young Judy Garland or the epic score to the Lord Of The Rings, Kaitlyn always delivers the same youthful exuberance matched with poise beyond her years. “To me what makes a great singer is how well they express the meaning of a song to those who are listening,” Kaitlyn states. “When I sing, I search inside myself to find my feelings and thoughts, expressing every lyric, and tinting every phrase with my own emotions.”