THE ABRAHAMIC SYMPHONY:
BY IHAB DARWISH, JOHN DEBNEY, AND DAVID SHIRE
Meet the Team
Beethoven Academy Orchestra
The Beethoven Academy Orchestra is one of Europe’s leading symphony orchestras of the young generation. It is made up of the most outstanding students and graduates of European higher musical education institutions. The ensemble started its activity in 2003, following the success at the 53rd Festival Junger Künstler Bayreuth. In 2005, on the initiative of Elżbieta Penderecka, the orchestra debuted at the 9th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, which resulted in excellent reviews and invitations to prestigious festivals at home and abroad.
The orchestra has thirty albums to its credit, recorded for such labels as DUX Poland, Centaur Records USA, Le Foxx Music, and Universal Music. It has also signed a contract with the reputable record company EMI London KPM. When reaching for entertainment and film music classics, the ensemble is as successful as with classical scores. It has recorded soundtracks for such giants as Warner Bros, Monolith and Netflix, collaborated with Hans Zimmer, Elliot Goldenthal, Michał Lorenc and Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, and more. In 2021 at the invitation of Marvel Games, BAO recorded the concert Marvel Future Revolution: World Orchestra. In March 2018 Universal Music released the album „Waves of My Life” with the music of the Emirati artist Ihab Darwish. Premiere of this project with the participation of the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the composer himself took place at the famous Abu Dhabi Festival. In 2020 the orchestra recorded the 2nd album of Ihab Darwish “Hekayat. Symphonic Tales”, and in 2021 virtually performed the repertoire at Abu Dhabi Festival.
Since its inception, the orchestra has been under the artistic and management care of Marcin Klejdysz.
Ihab Darwish is an Emirati artist specialized in Advertising and Visual Arts. Since graduating from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, he has pursued a career in multimedia and music to ultimately become the recognised locally and internationally composer he is today.
His first album “Waves of My Life” was launched in 2018, reaching audiences through International distribution by Universal Music MENA. The premiere of his orchestral work: “Waves of My Life: Every Real Story Begins with a Note” was held in 2018 at the Emirates Palace for the Abu Dhabi Festival. The same year, Darwish was bestowed ‘First Guest Composer’ by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra.
In 2021 Darwish virtually performed at Abu Dhabi Festival with his symphonic work Hekayat: Symphonic Tales. His music traversed the globe in 13 compositions and was performed by 128 musicians in 20 countries, capturing the musical traditions and cultures of five continents while making history as the first performance of its kind by an Emirati artist. The concert broadcasted internationally had more than 10 million views. The album was released by Universal Music MENA.
Darwish’s main projects include commissioned compositions for UAE Ministry of Education for the performance ‘Voice of Tolerance’ produced by Dragone at Le Perle in Dubai, UAE 48th National Day show “Legacy of Our Ancestors”, signature music for The Palm Fountain – Guiness World record for the world’s largest fountain “Aim For The Sky” that pays homage to the UAE’s culture as well as capture Dubai’s cosmopolitanism, award-winning documentary “She” (dir. P. Rashid) and signature music for Zahra Lari, the UAE first figure skater, to be used in her performances worldwide. As a speaker, Darwish was invited at Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations (2021) that connects Emirati youth with UAE leaders to shape a better future for the UAE and was featured at UAE Education Interface Exhibition (2021).;
Robert Townson Productions
Robert Townson is the most prolific producer of film music in the world, working with the legends of film music, past and present, including Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North, Elmer Bernstein, Georges Delerue, John Williams, Maurice Jarre, Dave Grusin, Lalo Schifrin, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, Thomas Newman, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, Carter Burwell, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, David Arnold, Rachel Portman, Patrick Doyle, Brian Tyler, John Powell and almost everyone else. Robert produced nearly 1500 film music recordings for Varèse Sarabande Records over the last 30 years.
Townson’s complete discography overflows with blockbuster and Academy Award-winning films, iconic and Emmy-winning television productions, as well as Grammy-nominated and -winning recordings.
Robert began producing a series of film music concerts during his days recording with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and today collaborates with nearly all of the world’s major film music festivals. Robert continues his soundtrack and concert production activities bringing great film music, live and recorded, to audiences all over the world.
His newest recording, “Cinema Morricone,” featuring flautist Sara Andon and pianist Simone Pedroni, was released in May of 2019 on Sony Classical. A follow-up digital single of a Morricone piece called “Return to Life” was released in 2020.
Robert is the President and Producer for Robert Townson Productions, LLC, founded in 2020.
American composer David Shire (b. Buffalo, NY, 3 July 1937) has worked in theatre, film, recordings, and television since the early 1960s, earning multiple nominations for Tony® and Emmy Awards, and winning a Grammy® and an Academy Award®. He has frequently collaborated with lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr., writing scores for the Broadway musicals Baby (1983, nominated for Tonys® for Best Score and Best Musical) and Big (1996, nominated for Best Score), and creating the off-Broadway hit revues Starting Here, Starting Now (capturing a 1977 Grammy® nomination) and Closer Than Ever (1989, winning the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score).
David received the World Soundtrack Awards Life Achievement Award in 2017.
His films include:
Norma Rae (1979) Academy Award-winner for his song (It Goes Like It Goes)
Saturday Night Fever (1977) Grammy Award-winner “Album of the Year”
All The President’s Men< (1977) Academy Award-nominee “Best Picture”
Zodiac (2007) Directed by David Fincher (The Social Network, Se7en)
Return To Oz (1985) Score recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra
The Conversation (1974) Directed by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now)
David’s song “I’ll Never Say Good-bye” from The Promise was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1980.
Born in Tenerife in 1972, Diego Navarro performed his first composition in concert when he was 13 years old, aged 21 he conducted an orchestra for the first time.
Navarro’s music and performances as an orchestra conductor have been released by prestigious Hollywood film soundtrack record label Varèse Sarabande and also Quartet Records.
Diego Navarro has become the most in-demand conductor for film music concerts at great film music festivals and has also been guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra & Choir (RSNO), Paris Symphonic Orchestra, the Krakow Symphony Orchestra, the AuksoOrchestra, the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the Golden State Pops Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, Orquesta Sinfónica de Málaga, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, among others.
Navarro regularly collaborates as guest conductor at the Krakow Film Music Festival (FMF). In 2015, the FMF awarded Navarro the FMF Ambassador Award, for “His great involvement in the knowledge and popularization of film music, his cooperation between both festivals and the creation of new audiovisual projects of international relevance”.
Academy Award-nominated John Debney is considered one of the most prolific and successful composers in Hollywood. His unique ability to create memorable work across a variety of genres, as well as his reputation for being remarkably collaborative, have made him the first choice of top-level producers and directors.
John Debney’s blockbuster film scores include Liar Liar, the Christmas classic Elf, Iron Man 2, Spy Kids (1 & 2), and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty as well as Hocus Pocus, The Princess Diaries and The Jungle Book, all for Disney.
Debney was widely known within the industry as a versatile and talented composer, however the whole world discovered his music he composed the landmark score for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Enticed by the idea of working on a project that held deep, spiritual meaning for him, Debney’s score, which blended symphonic orchestra, a wide range of world instruments, and the beauty of the human voice, connected on an emotional level with viewers and listeners, and rose to #1 on Billboard’s charts for Soundtrack and Christian Albums, and #19 on the Billboard Top 200. The record was certified gold by the RIAA and won the Dove award for Best Instrumental Album, as well as garnering Debney an Oscar nomination.