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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program has been canceled. Ticket holders will be notified about credit and/or refund options.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Weekend Program

Sunday, July 12, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Code: 1K0006
$25 - Member
$35 - Non-Member

Rachel Franklin

Please Note: This program has a rescheduled date (originally March 15, 2020).

Save $20 when you purchase the full Classical Sounds of Cinema 4-session series! Learn More

Since the beginning of the talkies, film directors have turned to classical music for their soundtracks. Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Mascagni, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films.

With fascinating clips, witty commentary, and piano demonstrations, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional).

British-born Franklin is a popular speaker and performer in the mid-Atlantic region who has appeared on more than two dozen broadcasts about music for NPR’s “Performance Today.”


Mozart Goes to Hollywood  

Directors have long picked great concert music to enhance and underpin their films. Max Reinhardt’s gloriously extravagant 1935 film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream used re-orchestrated works by Felix Mendelssohn. If there are corsets and wigs, it must be Handel. Mozart projects aristocratic elegance, Wagner is all about might, and Rachmaninoff signals the weepiest of romances. Classical music can persuade us we’re experiencing history, identity, and culture—but is it really all in the ears? Franklin explores the impact film music can have on our subconscious responses, illustrated by some of the most iconic classical music moments in film history.

If you are interested in additional sessions or the full 4-session series, please click here.

Other Connections

View a video clip featuring Rachel Franklin as she talks about classical music in film.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)