The stories told by classical music masterpieces are brought to life through real-time synchronisations of films with live orchestral performance.

The films are created by Dutch film director Lucas van Woerkum. Using customised software, Van Woerkum follows the conductor and orchestra’s interpretation, matching tempi and dynamics to create a visual layer as he performs as ‘image soloist’. In contrast to the modern ‘film live in concert’ format, the film responds to the music. Conductors and orchestras are free to perform completely unrestricted and interpret the music as they wish, whilst the audience is drawn even deeper into the stories of the music. Symphonic Cinema debuted in 2010, and in 2015 the first feature-length production (Stravinsky The Firebird) received five sell-out performances at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

  • “Filmmaker Lucas van Woerkum showed perfectly timed shots that evoke relevant associations without telling an educational story”

    Floris Don, NRC Handelsblad, February 2011
  • “Crossing borders, Lucas van Woerkum performs classical music to a new dimension and a new audience, with touch-screen as a tool and film as overtone. For his Symphonic Cinema, he utilizes the hidden stories of classical compositions. He brings treasures, he surprised the audience with his visual interpretations.”

    Maarten Corbijn, HP/DeTijd, March 2011
  • "What’s wonderful about the collaboration is that Lucas with his technology can follow the music in a way that the musicians still have the freedom to express themselves”

    Mark Wigglesworth (conductor), October 2014
  • “Film as an extra voice in the orchestra. Why hasn’t anybody ever thought of this before? With his version of Firebird, Van Woerkum has introduced a new fresh way of looking at a fusion of music and film and with his bold project, breathes new life into performances of symphonies around the world.”

    Joep Stapel, NRC Handelsblad, 26 January 2015
  • “Working with Lucas has been a great experience. Not only does he have an immense talent as a filmmaker, one feels he is also making music through his live editing performance. As the conductor, I felt as free as in any other concert, yet the audience enjoyed a totally new experience of The Firebird”

    Pablo Gonzalez (conductor), February 2016
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