Montreal-based FILMharmonic Orchestra to perform movie themes ranging from Schindler’s List and Downton Abbey to Gladiator, October 2 at Maison Symphonique

For several years, The FILMharmonic Orchestra has presented concerts of film music before sold out audiences at Place des Arts, making it the first Orchestra of its kind in Canada.  GFN is the production company owned by Gabriel Felcarek, and twin brothers Francis and Nicolas Choinière. The company has already produced movie-concerts with a symphony orchestra performing the musical soundtrack at Place des Arts. To date the young entrepreneurs have brought the fourth film in the Star Wars series, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Disney’s Fantasia to Montreal audiences. The orchestra has performed movie scores by such noteworthy composers as John Williams, James Horner, Thomas Newman. It’s proven to be immensely popular with audiences, attracting a younger generation into the concert halls. In a recent conversation, Conductor Francis Choinière stated; “We see a lot of people in their 20s and 30s coming to our concerts, a much younger age group than is usual for classical music.

Francis Choinière is the talented conductor who at just 24, has earned the respect of the orchestra’s musicians, many of whom are older than him. Entering his seventh year as a conductor, Francis has been conducting since he was just seventeen. “My whole family is musical, and our parents encouraged us to pursue music. I started studying piano, and then began composing before I started to conduct.”

For their October 2nd presentation at Maison Symphonique, the FILMharmonic Orchestra will include 35 professional musicians for the occasion, who will be directed by the talented young conductor Francis Choinière. Francis states; “To maintain social distancing on the stage at Maison Symphonique, we don’t have enough room for a full symphony orchestra. However, we can produce a nice full sound with our thirty-five musicians that includes strings, woodwinds, a piano, percussion and a harp. And of course – any seat at Maison Symphonique is a good seat!”   

The FILMharmonic Orchestra was founded by Denis Chabot who is also its co-artistic director.  The ensemble specializes in the presentation of film music that has made history, (including Oscar nominations and awards) while also being creative in the selection of the repertoire to satisfy a sophisticated public.

The program will feature themes from fourteen films, all recognized worldwide as being extraordinary, and includes music from movies such as Schindler’s List, Cinema Paradiso, Downton Abbey and Gladiator.  Three films will offer very special soundtracks from classical music; Platoon with Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Death in Venice featuring Mahler’s Adagietto and Somewhere in Time with its Rhapsody on a Theme by Rachmaninov.

Francis notes; “During the Baroque periods and later, classical music was supported by royalty and affluent patrons, and performances were popular social events. In a way, music composed for popular films performs a similar entertainment function, even though the technological presentation is different.

Concluding our conversation, Francis adds; ‘’The objective of the FILMharmonic Orchestra is to attract the existing public for this type of musical performance and to also develop a new inclusive audience of classical concert-goers across Canada. We are confident the October 2nd program will do just that.’’

The FILMharmonic Orchestra will have performances at 4pm and 7:30pm on Saturday, October 2 at Place des Arts, Maison Symphonique. Each performance is one hour. For tickets please call 514-842-2112 or visit :  

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