Silent Film Musicians Directory

by Brent Reid
  • The most comprehensive worldwide listing of musicians and composers ever published
  • Find favourite accompanists or the right artist for your screening or scoring project
  • There are currently around 400 entries of active musicians – and counting
  • The Hall of Fame section features some notable musicians of the past

See also: Silent Film Musicians Directory, Part 2: The Americas

Melody Hour (1934) by Louis Icart (1888–1950), aquatint with hand-colouring

Melody Hour by Louis Icart (1888–1950)

It’s often said that music is half the film, and this is especially true of silents. Whether it be a restored DVD, Blu-ray, DCP or an actual print, it’s vitally important that all silent films have appropriate, good quality musical accompaniment. This is a listing of most of the best musicians performing in the world today. Although many regularly play internationally, they are categorised by their main countries of residence and listed alphabetically by their full names. For example, both Lillian Henley and the Live Film Orchestra are under ‘L’. If you have any suggestions for musicians or links not listed, let me know. Musicians based in the Americas are covered in Part 2.

Musicians and promoters are welcome to tag or message me on social media for sharing events.


Contents


Woman atop a piano in a state of déshabillé, 1920s

Australia

Blue Grassy Knoll: website, FacebookWikipediaYouTubeYouTube#2YouTube#3

David Johnston: website, ATOSYouTube, YouTube #2

Mauro Colombis: Music Teachers Online, Australia’s Silent Film FestivalYouTube, Vimeo

New Pollutants: Wikipedia, Metropolis Rescore videos, MR soundtrack

Viola Dana: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo


Austria

Elaine Loebenstein: website, YouTube

Gerhard Gruber: website, silent film repertoireblog (inactive), Facebook, Twitter, GermanEnglish Wikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo

Orchester Filmharmonie: website, Facebook, YouTube


Czech Republic

Czech Film Orchestra: website, Wikipedia

Trailer 2, clips | Häxan: Terror Through the Ages | Caps-a-holic

Häxan aka Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) reconstructed compilation score (more) by Gillian Anderson and the Czech Film Orchestra.


Finland

Hillel Tokazier: website

Lau Nau: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Trio Mutual/Janne Kuusinen: website, Twitter


France

Art Zoyd: website, FacebookFrench | English Wikipedia, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Nosferatu score

Jean-François Zygel: Enzo Productions page, medici.tv pageFrench | English Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 2015 interview2016 interview

Jeremy Baysse: website, YouTube, VimeoSoundCloud

Quatuor Prima Vista: website, website#2French | English Wikipedia, YouTube

Laurent Pontoizeau: website, Facebook, YouTube

Serge Bromberg: websiteWikipedia, IMDbFacebookSept 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and Dec 2018 interviews

Touve R. Ratovondrahety: website, Twitter, WikipediaOct 2012 interview, YouTube


Germany

Aljoscha Zimmermann Ensemble: website – also see Aljoscha Zimmermann

Andreas Benz: Facebook, 2008 article

Antonio Bras: website, Facebook, YouTube

Ascolta: website

Bernd Schultheis (composer; active?): website, YouTube, IMDb

Bernd Wilden: Musikverein der Stadt Bielefeld profileOct 2007 interviewJan 2011 article

Cabaza: Wikipedia, YouTube

ChamberJazz: website

Daniel Kothenschulte: Wikipedia, Sept 2015 article, YouTube

Dirk Kuntze aka DJ D’dread: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, April 2013 interviewFeb 2016 articleYouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud

Drums and Movies: website

Eiston: website

Ekkehard Wölk: blog, YouTube, Wikipedia2009 interview

ensemble KONTRASTE: website, FacebookYouTube

Eunice Martins: website, YouTube, Vimeo

Europäische FilmPhilharmonie: website, Facebook, Wikipedia

Filmorchester Babelsberg: website, Wikipedia, Vimeo

Florian C. Reithner: website, Aug 2015 article, YouTubeYouTube #2, SoundCloud

Frank Bockius: website, YouTube, Vimeo

Franz Danksagmüller: website, Musikhochschule LübeckWikipedia, YouTube, YouTube #2

Günter Buchwald: website, TwitterOct 2011 interview, YouTube, Vimeo

Hans Brandner: website, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo

Harry Kulzer: website

Helmut Imig (conductor/composer): websiteWikipediaYouTube, Vimeo

Hui-Chun Lin: website, Facebook, YouTube

Interzone perceptible: website, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube

Joachim Bärenz: webpageIMDb, Aug 2008 interviewOct 2015 article, YouTube

Klavierduo Kolodochka: website, Facebook, YouTube

Lucía Martínez: website, FacebookWikipedia, YouTube, YouTube #2, Vimeo, SoundCloud

Marie-Luise Bolte: website, YouTube

Mathias Rehfeldt: website, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo

Masako Ohta: website, FacebookTwitter, YouTube

M-cine: website, FacebookTwitterMarch 2015 articleYouTube, Vimeo

Michael Klubertanz: website, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo

Molitors Stummfilmtheater: Band-Book

Die Negerländer: website, YouTube

Otto Maria Krämer: website

The Penguin Walkers (ex-Trio Celluloid): website

Picture Palace music: website, Facebook, Facebook group, YouTube, VimeoSoundCloud

PhonoKlangGalerie: website

Richard Siedhoff: website, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, 2014 video profile

Salon Orchester Berlin: website, Facebook, Vimeo

Silentones (active?): website

Staatsorchester Braunschweig: website, FacebookWikipedia, YouTube

Stadtorchester Holstenwall: website

Stephane Mottoul: website, Twitter, YouTube

Stephan Graf von Bothmer: website, website #2, Facebook, Wikipedia, Aug 2007 interviewYouTube

Stefan Heidtmann: website, website #2

Stefan Moser: website

stummfilm:dj: website, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo

Tilo Augsten: website, YouTube

Trioglyzerin: website, Facebook, Twitter, Feb 2014 article, SoundCloud

Tuten und Blasen (Toot and Bubbles): website, Facebook

Uwe Oberg: website, Facebook, Vimeo

Wanderkino: website, Website #2, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo

Werner Cee: website, webpage, Wikipedia, Vimeo, SoundCloud

Werner Küspert: website, YouTube

Werner Loll and Gerhard Breier: website, April 2013 interview

Wolfgang Zettl: website

Wilfried Kaets: website

Sabine Zimmer: website, FacebookTwitterYouTube


Italy

Antonio Coppola: website, YouTube

Edison Studio: website, FacebookYouTube

Giardini di Mirò: website, Facebook, TwitterWikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo

Gillian Anderson (composer): website, YouTube

Giovanni Renzo: website, Facebook, Nov 2014 article, YouTube

Billi Brass Quintet: website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud

Marco Dalpane: website, YouTubeVimeo

Mario Mariani: website, Facebook, TwitterEnglish | Italian Wikipedia, IMDb, YouTube, Vimeo

Michele Catania: Facebook, YouTube,

Roberto Musci: website, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, VimeoSoundCloud

Romano Todesco: website, YouTube

I Solisti Lombardi: website

Zerorchestra: website, YouTube


Japan

Joe Hisaishi (composer): website, Facebook, Wikipedia, IMDb, YouTube

Mie Yanashita: webpage, Facebook, TwitterTumblr, Wikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo


Netherlands

Anne-Maartje Lemereis: websiteTwitter, YouTubeSoundCloud , July 2017 and Nov 2017 interviews

Daan van den Hurk: website, FacebookMuziekschool CeresNederlands Silent Film Festival

The Houdini’s: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Hugo van Neck: website, YouTube

Kinetophone: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, VimeoSoundCloud

Marco Llano: website, Facebook, YouTube

Maud Nelissen: website, YouTube, Vimeo

Yvo Verschoor: website, YouTube, Vimeo


New Zealand

Johannes Contag (composer): website, Vimeo, Vimeo #2, Aug 2016 interview


Norway

Halldor Krogh (composer): Lillehammer University College, MusikkteknikkIMDb, YouTube, YouTube #2, YouTube #3


Poland

Czerwie: websiteFacebook, YouTube, YouTube #2


Portugal

Charlie Mancini: website, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramMay 2015 interview, YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud


Slovenia

Andrej Goričar: Franc Šturm Music School, Wikipedia, YouTube, YouTube #2


Spain

Caspervek Trio: website, Facebook, Twitter, A Year with Caspervek Trio (2015) free ebook | alt linkYouTube, Vimeo

Javiér Pérez de Azpeitia and The Silent Band: webpageinterview, YouTube

Jordi Sabatés: website, Wikipedia, YouTube

2UT: Facebook, YouTube


Sweden

Matti Bye: website, Matti Bye Ensemble, FacebookWikipediaIMDb, April 2015 interviewrotor records, YouTubeVimeo, SoundCloud


Switzerland

Armin Brunner: website, YouTube

Olav Lervik: website, YouTube, Vimeo


 UK

Albert Lamb: Facebook, books on Amazon

Antwerp: Facebook, TwitterBandCamp, YouTube

British Sea Power: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeYouTube #2, Vimeo

Bronnt Industries Kapital: website, Facebook, TwitterWikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo

Buster Birch: website, TwitterYouTube

Carl Davis (composer): website, Facebook, TwitterWikipediaIMDb, April 2010 | Feb 2011 | March 2011 | Oct 2016 interview, YouTube, Vimeo

Napoléon (1927) scored by Carl Davis

Cinematic Orchestra: website, fansite, Facebook, TwitterWikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo, Vimeo #2

Cipher: website, YouTube

Costas Fotopoulos: websiteFeb 2013 interview, YouTube, YouTube #2

Counterpoise: website, YouTube

Covent Garden Sinfonia (ex-Orchestra of St Paul’s): website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Cyrus Gabrysch: website, Facebook, Twitter

Daniel Patrick Cohen (composer): website, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramJune 2012 articleYouTube

Darius Battiwalla: website

Dmytro Morykit: Wikipediawebsite, about.me, medotcom, Facebook, TwitterSoundCloudMay 2014 interview, YouTube, Amazon

Dodge Brothers: website, Facebook, TwitterWikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo

Donald MacKenzie: website, Twitter, Vimeo

Ed Hughes (composer): website, website #2TwitterWikipedia, SoundCloud, YouTube, Vimeo

Elizabeth-Jane Baldry: website, website #2, Twitter, Twitter #2, YouTube, Vimeo

Elysian Quartet: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Forrester Pyke: Music Teachers, Scotland on Screen, Nov 2013 interview

Geoff Smith: website

Gladstone’s Bag: Facebook, Enterprise Music Scotland

HarmonieBand: website, FacebookYouTube, YouTube #2

In the Nursery: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo

Irene Buckley (composer): website, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud

Jane Gardner: website, Twitter

Jan Kopinski: website, Facebook, YouTubeSoundCloud

Jean Hasse (composer): Bristol University, Vimeo

John Altman (composer): Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, IMDbOct 2009 bio and interview, YouTube

John Lenehan: website, Upbeat Classical

John Sweeney: website (archived), Twitter, YouTube

Jonathan Best: website, FacebookTwitterYouTube, Vimeo

Jonathan Eyre: website, Facebook, Twitter, GigShout

Josh Johnston: website, Twitter

Larry McGuire: ATOS

Laura Rossi: website, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, interviews: Nov 2008, May 2015, June 2015, Oct 2015, March 2016, Oct 2016, Oct 2019 (@1:18)

Lillian Henley: website, Twitter, Dec 2015 interview, YouTube

Live Film Orchestra: website, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo

Lola Perrin: website, Twitter

Lucky Dog Picturehouse: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeYouTube #2

Matthew Bason: website, Facebook, Twitter

Mazaika: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Meg Morley: website, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramYouTube, July 2017 interview

Michael Holmes: OrganFax, Last Minute Musicians

Mike Nolan: Twitter

Michael Nyman (composer): website, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, IMDb, YouTube

Minima: website, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo

Neil Brand: website, Facebook, TwitterFaber MusicWikipediaIMDb, Nov 2015 | Oct 2016 interview, YouTube, Vimeo, Vimeo #2

Orlando Consort: website, TwitterWikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo

Peter Urpeth: blog, Twitter, FaclanYouTube

Robin Harris: websiteMusicTeachers, YouTube, Vimeo

Seamas Carey: website, Twitter, April 2015 interview, BandCampYouTube, Vimeo

Sheffield Rep. Orchestra: website, Facebook, Twitter

Shona Mooney: website, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia

Simon Dobson (composer): website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Simon Fisher Turner (composer): Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wikipedia, IMDb, YouTube, Vimeo

Sound and Silence: website, Twitter, YouTube

Ménilmontant (1926), one of the most beautiful and haunting of all silent films, scored by Sound and Silence

Stephen Horne: websiteSept 2009 interview, YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, SoundCloud #2

Steven Gellatly: website, Twitter, YouTube

Steven Severin: website, Facebook, Twitter, BandCampVimeo

3epkano: website, Facebook, Twitter, BandCamp, YouTubeVimeo

Tony Judge: website, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain: website, Facebook, TwitterWikipedia, Ukulelescope silent film show, Ukulelescope trailer

Unsilent Movies: website, Twitter

Wurlitza: website, FacebookTwitterTwitter #2blog (inactive), Feb 2015 articleJuly 2015 interview, YouTube, YouTube #2, SoundCloud


The Cinema Pianist: How to Become One

By S. Turnbull, The Musical Mirror, March 1928
Although work in the cinema is undoubtedly attractive, it does not suit everybody. If a person has an artistic temperament of high quality, also the ability to teach or otherwise earn money, he had better leave the cinema alone. The continued and forced playing of piece after piece does not give much scope for originality, and often tends to kill interest in music – as real music. It would be better for such a musician to earn his living in real surroundings, where he can develop himself to the fullest extent and no doubt profit by so doing. But for others who are not so highly developed musically or temperamentally, the cinema offers as many opportunities as any branch of the musical profession.

– But what does he know? Courtesy of Neil Brand’s excellent minisite, The Originals.

A Warming Flame—The Musical Presentation of Silent FilmsGillian Anderson, essay p. 13–50, Music for Silent Films 1894–1929: A Guide (1988, reprinted 2011)

Photoplay Music FAQ and Starter KitRodney Sauer

Silent Film Sound & Music Archive; Facebook, Twitter


Entry criteria

Note that this is a practical resource for folk seeking active silent musicians, not simply a list of everyone who’s ever accompanied a silent film. Those who have only scored one or two silents are largely avoided, unless they were particularly significant projects. Dozens of acts with no useful online presence have also been omitted; in most cases that means either they don’t work with silents regularly or aren’t interested in alerting people to the fact! Please supply links to as many of the following as possible:

  • At least one contact link and verification of being active (performance listings, recent reviews, etc.) – essential.
  • Website, blog, Facebook business page, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, BandCamp, Wikipedia, IMDb, YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc.
  • Anything else of relevance: articles, interviews, books, recordings, etc.
  • No personal details – email or physical addresses, phone numbers, etc. – but links to other sites featuring them are ok.

Post your suggestions in the comments or contact me here.

Silent Film Musicians Directory, Part 2: The Americas

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Jonathan Best
17th February 2016 20:44

Excellent piece of work, Brent, and an honour to be included!

Arsi
Arsi
16th November 2017 06:41

Wow You’re a wonderful article, learned a lot of new things, thank you. By the way the site where you can find a piano comedy silent movie music.

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