April 29, 2024

There has been no shortage of news and activity here at Robert Townson Productions, that’s for sure. The shortage has come in finding time to write about it and keep the website updated! October 12 of 2022 was my last update. How has it been that long? The time has flown by so quickly.

My 2022 year finished up beautifully with a very special visit to Dublin, Ireland.  Amazingly, for all the times I have visited Scotland over the years for dozens of album recordings and concerts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow, this was my very first visit to Ireland.  I was there to join my friends Tim Burden and Peter Bernstein for a gala concert with the National Symphony Orchestra of Dublin for the concert 100 Years of Elmer Bernstein. I had the honor of introducing the performance of To Kill A Mockingbird.  As I said then, one of my all-time favorite scores, but really one of everyone’s favorite scores!

Go to 100 Years of Elmer Bernstein excerpt:

I was asked if I could write a chapter of a new book about my dear late friend Basil Poledouris and to use it to tell as much of the story behind the Basil Poledouris: The Music and The Movies that I produced. Of course, I was very happy to do this and was grateful to author Sergio Hardasmal for the opportunity. The Music of Basil Poledouris was released on February 23, 2023. It is in English and I highly recommend it.

March of 2023 saw me visit Abu Dhabi for a second time, but this time with my friends David Shire and John Debney, for us to each be presented with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement. The awards were presented by ADF Founder H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo at Abu Dhabi Palace and it was an incredible honor. We were all very moved and certainly enormously appreciative. Previous recipients of the award include Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, Riccardo Muti, Placido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, Gabriel Yared, Krystof Penderecki and Christo.
By this time in 2023 I was already well underway on another major and exciting project, working to create a 70+ minute program of new suites from the film and television scores of the great Laurence Rosenthal. This was a two-part project. First, I would travel to Brussels last August to record the full album program of Laurence Rosenthal: Music from Film and Television, with Dirk Brossé and the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra. I squeezed in one day and night in Paris after I was done in Brussels and enjoyed some lovely visits with Philippe Sarde and his family as well as Jean-Michel Bernard and his wife Kimiko. Taking advantage of every moment!
September 27 was departure day for Rome and the 2023 Roma Film Music Festival where I, along with Sara Andon, Cécilia Tsan and Simone Pedroni would premiere our new John Williams concert recital for flute, cello and piano that, in Rome, we called The Wondrous Film World of John Williams. This was a magnificent debut at Marco Patrignani’s festival. I really can’t wait to take this show on tour.
From Rome I flew to Zagreb to take part in the International Sound and Film Music Festival in Samobor, Croatia. This was my first visit to Samobor, an absolutely idyllic, fairytale-like city. Each of my visits to Croatia have been magical and I have nothing but wonderful memories from my past visits to Rovinj and Pula. This visit had a particular surprise in store for me before I departed for Belgium. My dear friend Ozren Glaser presented me with the Crystal Pine Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement in Film Music.

Next stop on my beyond-belief-Euro-tour of October 2023 was the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent, Belgium. This was the second part of the lovely adventure that began in Brussels a couple of months earlier. Now it was time for Film Fest Gent, during which the new WSA album would be released, and the World Soundtrack Awards Concert, where I would be presenting the 96-year-old Laurence Rosenthal with the World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award. I was so excited about this and could not wait to put that award into my old friend’s hands. What a beautiful and moving experience to see Larry receive multiple standing ovations following the incredible live performance that Dirk and the orchestra gave, and following an absolutely historic acceptance speech, which concluded with Larry announcing that he would be turning 97 in just two weeks. There was not a dry eye in the house. This video is on the album page.

In addition to having the extraordinary honor of presenting Laurence Rosenthal’s award to him in person, I was presented with the World Soundtrack Industry Award for my lifetime contributions to film music. What a trip this was! So incredibly grateful for everything!

On November 17, Lakeshore Records released the soundtrack album Mushka, which I produced with my wonderful composer friend Fabrizio Mancinelli. The beautiful film directed by Andreas Deja, featured a score by Fabrizio and an original song from the legendary Richard M. Sherman, sung by Holly Sedillos. The album also featured two special tracks from the score specially arranged by Fabrizio, for flutist Sara Andon and pianist Simone Pedroni.
I took part in an online interview as part of Brazil’s Musimagem 2023 festival on December 10 and had a lovely conversation with my friend Alexandre Guerra.
On December 16 Sara Andon and I reunited with Steven Allen Fox and the Golden State Pops Orchestra for a special performance of Michel Legrand’s arrangement of Jingle Bells in the orchestra’s annual Holiday Pops Spectacular at the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro, California.
Sara Andon and I attended the Annie Awards on February 17, 2024 after having served once again as the music category Chairman. I have always loved animation.
On March 1 I released a beautiful new ballet score called JOY. The composer is a wonderful cellist named Isaiah Gage that my dear friend Lorraine Evanoff introduced me to after she and I attended the ballet’s premiere in Los Angeles, a couple of years earlier. The album features ten tracks of cello in a melodic and meditative score and is now available on Robert Townson Productions.
On March 6, 2024 I hosted a wonderful concert at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz, featuring my dear friend Jean-Michel Bernard, visiting from Paris… The World of Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith and Henry Mancini. Another absolutely magical night! So fantastic seeing Lalo again, and also Carol Goldsmith. And what a wonderful surprise for the whole audience to hear Monica Mancini sing Moon River in honor of her father’s centenary.
A very special album that I have been working on for two years was finally announced on March 22. John Williams Reimagined 2-CD set will be released by Warner Classics on August 23. I tell the beautiful story of how John Williams approved this recording and even invited the trio to perform for him privately at Amblin during the Los Angeles recording sessions in the album liner notes, but some of this is also in the press release included on the album page. There have been three singles released from the album so far… Over The Moon from E.T., Devil’s Dance from The Witches of Eastwick and Princess Leia’s Theme from Star Wars. I consider this to be one of my finest recordings ever and can’t wait for the full CD to be released!

And to finally wrap up this News, (and History!) update … I was over the moon excited to announce on April 12 that tickets had just gone on sale for, what I consider the biggest concert of my life.

Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak has been a dream of mine for 25 years. On June 14, 2024 at Walt Disney Concert Hall it will become a reality. The legendary Leonard Slatkin will be conducting this gala premiere. You can read more about this concert at the link below. All I can say is that if you love film music and there is any way for you to attend, you do not want to miss this one.

If you attend and see me, please say hello!