“Copeland commanded the audience’s attention and praise.”
(Los Angeles Times)
Stewart Copeland has spent more than three decades at the forefront of contemporary music as rock star and acclaimed film composer, as well as in the disparate worlds of opera, ballet, and world and chamber music.
Recruiting Sting and Andy Summers in 1977, Copeland is renowned as the founder of The Police, a band that became a defining force in rock music from the ‘80s through to the present day. His career includes the sale of more than 60 million records worldwide, and numerous awards, including five Grammy awards.
Copeland moved beyond the rock arena in the mid-1980s when he returned to his classical roots with creative pursuits in concert and film music. His concert works include BEN-HUR, A Tale of the Christ, which features Copeland as soloist in a live orchestral score for the 1925 silent film; Tyrant’s Crush: Concerto for Trapset and Orchestra commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Poltroons in Paradise commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; and Gamelan D’Drum, commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the world percussion group D’Drum.
In 2017, The Chicago Opera Theatre premiered Copeland’s surreal chamber opera The Invention of Morel, a co-commission with Long Beach Opera based on the novel by Adolfo Bioy Casares. Copeland has also written two operas based on stories by Edgar Allen Poe: The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart. Copeland has continued writing for Opera and 2020 will see the premiere of Electric Saint, commissioned by Staaskapelle Weimar as well as his Oratorio, Satan’s Fall, based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which premiered in Pittsburgh in February 2020.
The 2018/19 season saw Stewart Copeland premiere concerts of his project Stewart Copeland Lights Up The Orchestra, a concert showcasing the life of Stewart and his compositions, from The Police to Spyro the Dragon and Tyrant’s Crush with performances taking place across Germany and the UK.
In 2021, Copeland will debut a new project, ‘Stewart Copeland: The Police Deranged for Orchestra’, which focuses on the epic rise of his career. The concert is an evening bursting with The Police’s biggest hits including ‘Roxanne’,‘Don’t Stand To Close To Me’ and‘Message in a Bottle’ arranged for full symphony orchestra as well as hand-picked highlights from Copeland’s compositions. The world premiere will be held at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam in July 2021 before touring the US and Europe in 2021 and 2022.
Recipient of the Hollywood Film Festival’s first Outstanding Music in Film Visionary Award, a Grammy nominee for his 2005CDOrchestralli, and a 2003 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Copeland has been responsible for some of the film world’s most innovative and ground-breaking scores. His numerous film scores include Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, the seminal score for the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish, the score for Bruno Barreto’s Oscar-nominated Four Days in September and his Emmy nomination for the Showtime pilot and series Dead Like Me. His work in television includes contributions to The Equalizer, Babylon V, and Desperate Housewives. He also scored the blockbuster hit video game Spyro.
The rise, subsequent success, and ultimate demise of The Police over an eight-year period were all recorded and kept as a video diary in 8mm film by Copeland. That diary became the film Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and debuted on the Showtime network. Between international performances of his many orchestral works, Stewart has also presented the highly rated ‘On Drums – Stewart Copeland!’ for BBC4 and has filmed a new 3 one-hour documentary series for them, called ‘What Is Music’ broadcast in Autumn 2019.
“It builds to such a pitch of skittering hyperactivity that by the end Copeland seems to be intent on developing his own genre – maximalism, perhaps.”
The Guardian about Tyrant's Crush
“How could anyone not enjoy such exuberance? Copeland…bounded joyfully on stage to take a bow, punch the air and shout ‘yes!’”
Liverpool Echo about the Tyrant's Crush
“The audience cheered between and after the concerto’s three movements. It was wild, highly energetic and just plain fun.”
San Antonio Express News about the Tyrant's Crush
“a daring, dynamic and challenging piece that is in keeping with Copeland’s history as a composer of beautifully idiosyncratic pieces”
Buffalo News about the Tyrant's Crush
“The captivating mix of expressive faces, mood changing screen colors and dynamics of music made seeing a movie feel fresh again, even one almost 100 years old…One of the most surprising successes of the season.”
Jazz Weekly about Ben-Hur
“From the in-your-face rock percussion announcing the familiar MGM lion to the final cymbal echoes ringing over the resurrection finale, Copeland commanded the audience’s attention and praise.”
Los Angeles Times about Ben-Hur
“It marries classical music and rock, the composed and the spontaneous”
National Post about Off the Score
“Morel’s rhythmically hypnotic score greatly validates him [Copeland] as a classical composer to reckon with.”
Opera News about The Invention of Morel
“This is Copeland’s fifth opera (he is also credited as co-librettist), and he has his chops in place. The 87-minute score has the feel and flow of opera spiked by occasional pastiches of rhumbas or ’20s jazz and a minimum of rock.”
The LA Times about The Invention of Morel
“It’s no surprise coming from the guy who got the No. 10 spot on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 greatest drummers of all time that, in “The Invention of Morel,” the drum parts are awesome — they are the incessant heartbeat of the opera.”
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