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  • WDCH
  • Oct. 31, 2004
  • Prize-Winning Theater Organist Clark Wilson Accompanies Silent Film
    During Halloween Recital

    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31 at 7:30 PM

    Amid 40,000 pounds of pipes within Walt Disney Concert Hall lurked its own phantom for more than a year until this season. Halloween night welcomes prize-winning theater organist Clark Wilson as he becomes an "angel of music" to accompany a screening of the silent film The Phantom of the Opera at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday, October 31, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. Wilson's appearance is the third of six performances presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in its new Organ Recital series.

    The silent film classic The Phantom of the Opera is shown on a large screen in the auditorium. Wilson creates his own movie soundtrack for this performance, accompanying the film featuring sections of Faust with a little classical literature and themes more "hinted at" than fully played. Wilson, a prize-winning theater organist with extensive silent film accompaniment experience, explains, "While the score is based on real music, the abbreviation and improvisation parts are all-important to pull it together and keep up the flow. Every show is unique in that aspect."

    The famous film for this performance is the 1925 restored version (restored in 2003 by Photoplay Productions) starring Lon Chaney as Erik, the Phantom. Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the haunting tale of an urban myth that becomes real - a mysterious ghost haunts the Paris Opera House and its performers until he reveals himself to the young singer Christine Daaé. A love triangle ensues between Christine, the masked phantom, and Raoul de Chagny who, enraptured by her melodic voice, risks his own life to save Christine from the unyielding power the phantom holds over her.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Owner of the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles Charlie Lustman converses with silent movie organist Bob Mitchell.

    A visual centerpiece in the auditorium of Walt Disney Concert Hall, the organ was designed by architect Frank Gehry and built by Manuel J. Rosales of Rosales Organ Builders. The 6,134 pipes range in size from a pencil to a telephone pole, and are voiced with a wide dynamic range from super pianissimo to a breathtaking fortissimo. The specially curved wood façade pipes were made and installed by Glatter-Götz Orgelbau, Germany of solid, vertical-grain Douglas fir that comprise the Violone and Basson basses. Behind the façade are three levels of pipes, including metal pipes made of tin and lead alloys and wood pipes made of Norwegian pine.

    The Organ Recital Series continues on February 20, 2005 with Martin Haselböck (Professor of Organ, Musikhochschule Lübeck); April 3 with Thomas Murray (University Organist and Professor of Music at Yale University), and finishes on May 8 with Olivier Latry (organist, Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris).

    A native of Ohio, CLARK WILSON began his musical training at age nine. While growing up, he accompanied numerous stage musicals and was organist at several churches. Wilson's professional playing career began with his appointment to the featured organist post at Pipe Organ Pizza in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wilson's recording credits include seven albums. This past season he began work as a visiting lecturer on Theatre Organ for major university organ departments, a great step in the advancement of the theatre instrument. He has concretized in the United States, Canada, Australia, and England, and done extensive silent film accompaniment, including at the Chautauqua Institution in New York, the Stanford Theater, and at UCLA. He is presently the featured organist and organ conservator at the famed Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio (for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts. Along with a busy concert schedule, Wilson has been professionally involved with more than 80 theatre organ installations throughout North America and England, and has provided voicing expertise for several different organ companies.


    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31 at 7:30 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    CLARK WILSON, organ

    The Phantom of the Opera

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Owner of the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, Charlie Lustman, converses with silent movie organist Bob Mitchell.

    Tickets ($20-$50) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sabrina Skacan, 213.972.3408; photos: 213.972.3034