«SUPERMAN» – IN CONCERT Podcast Special: Interview with Anthony Gabriele

Conductor Anthony Gabriele talks the stirring musical score by John Williams for the 1978 classic film premiering in a live-to-picture concert presentation at the KKL in Lucerne on April 29

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

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The unforgettable superhero film Superman: The Movie is making a long-awaited comeback for the world premiere of John Williams‘ stirring musical score performed live to picture by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele in the splendor of the spectacular KKL Concert Hall in Lucerne (Switzerland) on April 29, 2022. The event is presented by City Light Concerts in association with Film Concerts Live and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Christopher Reeve as Superman (Photo © Warner Bros., courtesy of CapedWonder.com)

The 1978 classic movie directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando is rightfully considered as one of the best comic book films ever made and it’s still beloved by legions of film and superhero fans around the world. The film achieved a perfect mixture of epic fantasy, heartfelt romance and lighthearted comedic tone thanks to the impeccable directing by Richard Donner, who treated the material with an enormous amount of respect, and to truly inspired casting choices, above all the beloved Christopher Reeve in the dual role of the Man of Steel and his earthly alter ego, the mild-mannered new reporter Clark Kent. Rarely a comic book film has ever felt so genuine, wholesome and inspired, thanks in no small part to the stirring and unforgettable musical score composed by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

John Williams recording the score for Superman in 1978 (Photo © Warner Bros., courtesy of CapedWonder.com)

Maestro Williams composed the score for Superman just one year after the international success of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which brought him an unprecedented fame to the point of becoming the world’s most famous film composer. The global success of Superman furtherly pushed Williams into international stardom and brought him another Academy Award nomination and two Grammy Awards. The score for Superman is certainly one of the Maestro’s most indelible and beloved compositions for the movies, enriching greatly the cinematic value of Donner’s film, enhancing the character’s mythological qualities and adding humanity, humor and romance to the storytelling. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s the music that makes the audience truly believe that “a man can fly,” as the original 1978 claim said.

John Williams recording the score for Superman in 1978 (Photo courtesy of CapedWonder.com)

The Legacy of John Williams dedicated a two-part podcast to this seminal John Williams’ opus for the release of La-La Land’s 40th Anniversary Edition in 2019, but now we’re returning to it on the eve of the world premiere of the long-awaited concert performance of «SUPERMAN» – IN CONCERT, the live-to-picture presentation taking place at the KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland, on April 29, 2022. In the last few years, the format of ‘Film With Orchestra’ has become a true paradigm of presenting the repertoire of the best film music ever written in concert, creating a platform that is helping orchestras enormously to engage with a new, more varied audience and bring them to experience the sound of a symphony orchestra through the performance of some of cinema’s most enduring classics. Film Concerts Live, an organization born as a partnership between The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency and IMG Artists Management, brought many of John Williams’ most famous and world-renowned film scores in this format to concert halls around the world: Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Close Encounters of the Third Kind have been performed many times in the live-to-picture format across the world in several renowned concert halls and with top-tier orchestras.

The City Light Symphony Orchestra, with Anthony Gabriele on the podium, after a performance of John Williams’ Raiders of the Lost Ark live to film at the KKL Luzern, Switzerland

Superman is the latest of the classic John Williams’ film scores being presented in this format and, after two years of postponement due to Covid pandemic, it’s finally having its long-awaited world premiere at the spectacular KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland, performed live to picture by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele. The conductor is one of the most talented and renowned specialists of the ‘film with orchestra’ concert format and he kindly accepted the invitation of The Legacy of John Williams to talk about the music of Superman, how it sits into the filmography of John Williams, the many virtues of Richard Donner’s film and its stirring score, and the uniqueness of Maestro Williams’ overall opus. This is the first of a two-part podcast special dedicated to the world premiere of Superman In Concert. Listen to the full episode to discover the guest of Part 2…

Special Thanks to Basil Böhni (City Light Concerts) for the help and assistance; many thanks to Anthony Gabriele for his time and generosity.


April 29, 2022
KKL Luzern, Switzerland
City Light Symphony Orchestra
Anthony Gabriele, conductor
Info & Tickets

June 25, 2022
Royal Albert Hall
London, United Kingdom
Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
Anthony Gabriele, conductor
Info & Tickets

Anthony Gabriele (Photo © Christopher Mason)

Anthony Gabriele has established an international reputation for conducting with tremendous passion born of a profound knowledge and understanding of the repertoire. He has worked with orchestras and companies as diverse as the Zürcher Kammerorchester, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon), Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, City Light Symphony Orchestra (Lucerne), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Bulgarian State Opera, Britten Sinfonia, Abai State Kazakh National Opera & Ballet Theatre, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, the Barcelona Symphony & Catalonia National Orchestra, the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and the Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier.

Anthony’s varied career has taken him around the world working with artists such as percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie; tenors Fabio Armiliato and Noah Stewart; accordionist Ksenija Sidorova; Irish singer/songwriter Ronan Keating; and violinist Daniel Hope. 

Anthony has established himself as one of the finest conductors of ‘Film with Orchestra’ concerts, with performances of Psycho, Vertigo, The Wizard of Oz, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: the Extra-terrestrial, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Back to the Future, Apollo 13, Blancanieves, the World Premiere of Moby Dick, and in 2022 will conduct West Side Story, and the World Premiere of Superman – Live in Concert. 

A prize winner in the international opera conducting competition Blue Danube Musik Impresario (Vienna) 2011, Anthony’s Opera Credits include Don Carlo, La traviata, La bohème, Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly. As a Music Director on London’s West End, and internationally, Anthony’s career in musical theatre includes musicals such as The Lion King, CATS, The Phantom of the Opera, Grease, The Wizard of Oz, Funny Girl, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music and Evita

Official Website: https://www.maestrogabriele.com/

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