Frankenstein-The Movie Score | Overview



Michael Shapiro was commissioned in 2001 by The Chappaqua Orchestra’s Boris Koutzen Memorial Fund to write the movie score for the classic film Frankenstein (1931) directed by James Whale and starring Colin Clive and Boris Karloff. The world premiere of the work with live orchestra and film occurred in October 2002 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Jacob Burns Film Center in New York and since its premiere has received nearly 30 productions worldwide.

Unlike The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), with its lush score by Franz Waxman, the original Frankenstein was produced without a movie score. Many critics, such as Leonard Maltin, have remarked that Frankenstein is badly in need of music. Mr. Shapiro’s 70-minute score is written to be played under the dialogue of the film. For modern day moviegoers, Mr. Shapiro’s haunting music adds significantly to the emotional impact of the film.

“The premiere here at the Film Center…was a great success…particularly because of the relatively simple set-up required for a most impressive outcome.”
~Steve Apkon, Executive Director, Jacob Burns Film Center

Creative new music programming for:

  • Young Audiences and Families
  • Halloween
  • Film Buffs
  • Performance and Master Classes for Music, Composition, or Film Students
  • Benefit Events
  • Collaborations

70 minutes simultaneous to movie
Music under dialogue
Instrumentation (three versions): full orchestra, chamber orchestra, or wind ensemble