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New music revives old movie

Richard Barthelmess and Lillian Gish in D.W. Griffith's "Way Down East" (1920). The classic screens Oct. 14 with a brand new soundtrack by composer Philip Rothman.

Richard Barthelmess and Lillian Gish in D.W. Griffith's "Way Down East" (1920). The classic screens Oct. 14 with a brand new soundtrack by composer Philip Rothman.

Pizazz predicted

The movie’s original score by William Frederick Peters and Louis Silvers was a sometimes awkward amalgam of ragtime, popular songs and a little Liszt. Rothman, on the other hand, is a percussionist by trade and he likely created a score with plenty of rhythmic energy. Reviewers have praised his previous works for their “pizazz” and “percolation.”

In the The Boulder {Colo.] Dailey Camera, classical critic Sabine Kortals wrote that Rothman’s “The Manhattan Chase”…”brought to life the sounds of the Big Apple in a pleasing performance...the work is full of drama, color, and charm [and] actually presents a sweeping musical narration on all aspects of daily life in New York.”

After graduating from Rice University and earning a master’s at The Juilliard School where he was awarded a full scholarship, Rothman has emerged as one of the most sought-after music preparers in the industry, orchestrating for major motion pictures such as “Hollywoodland” and “The Nanny Diaries.”

He has won four ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Rothman is a 2003 winner of the Society for New Music’s Brian Israel Prize, awarded annually to one or two composers in New York state younger than 30, in recognition of an outstanding musical composition. In 2003, the Society performed Rothman’s String Trio for violin, viola and cello. This is the 25th anniversary of the death of Brian Israel and the 40th anniversary season of the Syracuse-based Society for New Music.

BTW, the Syracuse University Symphony Band will perform Rothman’s composition, “Battery Park Suite,” at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16.

Film Fest fever

The Syracuse International Film Festival starts Wednesday, Oct. 12, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 16. The cost is $150 for a single all-access pass, $275 for couples and $126 for students and seniors. Single screening tickets sold at the door cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. syrfilm.com; 443-8826.

LuBossa — guitarist Jason Kessler and vivacious vocalist Luba Lesser — will perform for a film festival reception at 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at the Genesee Inn, 1060 E. Genesee St.; 476-4212. As its name suggests, the duo performs bossa nova tunes, with Kessler complementing the chanteuse with precision classical-style guitar work.

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