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Last Updated: 20050915, mei

Sunday, October 9, 5:00 pm — 7:00 pm

Bad Boy Made Good—A Film About the Notorious Ballet Mecanique

George Antheil, the self-proclaimed “Bad Boy of Music,” was a brash, colorful, young “ultramodern” American pianist and composer in Europe during the roaring '20s. His works caused fistfights in concert halls and riots in the streets from London to Budapest. His magnum opus, the “Ballet mécanique” for percussion, sound effects, and multiple player pianos, turned Paris on its ear in 1924. But, the piece called for technology that did not exist at the time—multiple player pianos could not be synchronized. So the version he heard in his head was never performed in his lifetime. Seventy-five years later, thanks to a forward-thinking music publisher (G. Schirmer), a music technologist (Paul Lehrman), a modern player-piano manufacturer (Yamaha), and the latest in computer music technology, the piece was performed the way the composer wanted it.
Bad Boy Made Good is a 71-minute documentary film written by our presenter, Paul Lehrman, and directed by award-winning LA filmmaker Ron Frank. It tells the story of Antheil’s meteoric rise and catastrophic fall, and the historical development of a piece that has been called “the most important work of the first half of the 20th century.” Visit website for background on this project.

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