The John Wilson Orchestra

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Conductor and musicologist John Wilson actually founded the John Wilson Orchestra while he was still a student at the Royal College of Music in London in the 1990s. His interest in film music, orchestral jazz, and light classics are what drive the orchestra’s programs. The orchestra appeared on the soundtrack for The Gathering Storm and the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea starring Kevin Spacey. Yet, the Orchestra’s public breakthrough was in 2009, when its concert at the BBC Proms celebrating the 75th anniversary of MGM musicals was broadcast on television. This marked the beginning of an annual appearance at the Proms for several years. The next year, it made its first national tour, as well as a TV Christmas special, Swinging Christmas. It also performed for a semi-staged version of My Fair Lady, featuring music reconstructed from the 1964 film score rather than the stage original. The orchestra began recording for EMI in 2011, first releasing an album of music from the MGM musicals, followed by one of Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals. Wilson and the orchestra returned in 2016 with Gershwin in Hollywood Live — a live recording from the Royal Albert Hall, celebrating the film orchestrations of the late, great composer George Gershwin. ~ Patsy Morita