The Philharmonia Orchestra has had a long and distinguished association with cinema over the years. The Philharmonia's earliest work included such prestigious films as Olivier's Henry V with William Walton, Scott of the Antarctic and Nicholas and Alexandra.
As well as recording soundtracks for cinema releases, the Philharmonia have spent the last 30 years performing live film music concerts on stage and now also work with epic film and TV composer Carl Davis on silent film nights with the orchestra performing Carl’s own music written to accompany timeless silent movie classics starring the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
In the late 1980s the Orchestra performed two enormously successful film music concerts.
On 10th March 1987 it performed a concert of the film music of the great film composer Jerry Goldsmith at the Barbican. This was the first time the composer had ever conducted a complete public concert of his own, anywhere.
The concert included such film classics as Patton, Gremlins, Papillon, Chinatown, Sand Pebbles, Poltergeist and A Patch Of Blue, and the television classics The Man From Uncle, The Waltons and Dr Kildare. The concert was then recorded in the Walthamstow Town Hall and subsequently released by Decca.
A few months later Jerry Goldsmith was joined by two other film composers, John Scott and Elmer Bernstein, for a Royal Gala Concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 19th May 1987 to commemorate the birthday of the Hollywood composing legend Miklos Rozsa. In the presence of HRH Princess Anne, the orchestra performed such Hollywood classics as Ben-Hur, Spellbound, The Thief Of Baghdad, King Of Kings, El-Cid and Quo Vadis, and was an outstanding success.
In the 1980s the Philharmonia recorded for Silva Screen Records a series of classic film scores including Lawrence of Arabia, The Big Country and an anthology of music from the Hammer horror films.
In the 1990s the Philharmonia positioned itself as one of the world's most sought-after orchestras for film music recording.
Its credits include re-recording and performing world-wide the music to Walt Disney's animated classic Fantasia 2000 and also Entrapment for 20th Century Fox with Christopher Young, Madeline with Michel Legrand and Sony Pictures, Alaska for Castle Rock, the animated King And I for Warner Brothers, Return To Nimh for MGM, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Don Quixote for Hallmark, a major documentary series commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the State Of Israel for the Simon Wiesenthal Institute and the music for the Universal Theme Park in Florida, Islands Of Adventure.
In 2001 The Philharmonia Orchestra recorded Paradise Found and the Channel 4 production Shackleton, starring Kenneth Branagh. It also recorded Shipping News for Miramax, starring Dame Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey, for which the score by Christopher Young received a Golden Globe nomination. In early 2004 it recorded Vanity Fair and also the soundtrack to Resident Evil II. Films in the last five years have included The Namesake, Pirates of Treasure Island, Flashbacks of a Fool starring Daniel Craig and Splice. In 2010 the Philharmonia recorded music by Eric Neveux for the film The Last Furlong, a film set for release in April 2011 starring Rachel Hurd-Wood.
French films make up an increasing amount of the work the Philharmonia have recorded soundtracks for in recent years, with titles including Asterix at the Olympics and Mes Starts et Moi and in 2010 recorded for titles Ma Part du Gâteau and La Permission de Minuit.