Monday, March 9, 2015

VSO's New Music Advisor David Ludwig Scores Major Motion Picture

Classical music composer David Ludwig has written the original score to director Michael Almereyda's new feature film Cymbeline, an explosive modern-day drama based on Shakespeare's play by the same name. Academy Award nominees Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor, Training Day, 2001) and Ed Harris (Best Actor, Pollock, 2000) lead a powerhouse cast including Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin, with Bill Pullman and Delroy Lindo in a gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. Oscar-winning Anthony Katagas (12 Years a Slave, Killing Them Softly) is producing the film for Keep Your Head Productions alongside Michael Benaroya (Margin Call, Lawless, The Words) for Benaroya Pictures. Although Ludwig has composed for documentaries and animated shorts, Cymbeline marks the feature-length film-scoring debut for the composer.This project represented a musical transition from concert stage to big screen for Ludwig, who is on the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and has written for numerous major orchestras and some of the top performers in classical music today. 

Film director Michael Almereyda commented: "Having listened to a number of his orchestral pieces, I knew David could write music with complexity, depth and emotional power. The question was, could he harness these qualities in a film score, following the fixed contours of given scenes? Could he write dramatic music that rides the wave of the film's dialogue and action? His score for Cymbeline demonstrates that he can do exactly that, very capably, often brilliantly."

 "Writing for film requires a very different sense of timing and pacing, great flexibility, a handle on technology, and strong communication skills," said Ludwig. "But it is equally rewarding in so many ways. There's nothing quite like seeing the finished picture with your music framing the richness of each scene."
Cymbeline was a recent feature at the Venice Film Festival in September 2014 and was nominated for the Venice Horizons Award. This is Almereyda's second modern-day adaption of Shakespeare. In 2000, he directed the highly acclaimed Hamlet, with Ethan Hawke in the title role.

Preserving the original language and plot lines of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," the film is a fresh take on a universal story of love, betrayal and revenge. Cymbeline the movie opens on March 13, 2015 in theaters and on Video On Demand.

David Ludwig (b. 1972) is "a composer with something urgent to say" (Philadelphia Inquirer). An award winning and highly sought after composer, Ludwig's recent concert commissions include those from Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Ravinia Music Festival, among many others. His latest recording Two x Four on Cedille Records was released in April 2014 to great acclaim, and the CD was nominated for a Grammy Award in multiple categories. In 2013 his choral work, The New Colossus, was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet at his second Inauguration. NPR Music named Ludwig as one of the "Top 100 Composers Under Forty in the World." More information at