Get to Know Dennis James

Kenyon Hall

Stacks Image 9


“James is not just a master performer of film music, he is a master of the world to which such live performances permit privileged access- a world of Junes, spoons and harvest moons, of swirling waltzes and breathless romances, a world of sunsets and happy endings.” - The Seattle Times

“James' accompaniment was one of the finest backgrounds I have ever heard to a silent film. His performance was flawless. Its sensitivity to the action on the screen was an emotional experience bringing lumps to the throat and tears glistening in the eyes of an awestruck audience. It was superb.”- Dr. Ed Mullins, Theatre Organ Journal

Dennis James’ Silent Film Concerts shows are hailed worldwide for being both historically accurate and hugely entertaining for both silent film aficionados and general audiences.

Within our era of conversion displays of parody, mockery and outright denial of genuine historical precedent by preening newcomers, James’ Silent Film Concerts refuse to employ alternative & non-period modern scoring motifs, sentiments and aesthetics. His performances insure genuine tributes to the early 20th c. film industry exhibition practices with performances that meet the established professional concert hall standards while creating audience involvements that preserve all of the silent films' extraordinary vitality and excitement.

DENNIS JAMES is the internationally touring professional silent film musician who has dedicated himself to the authentic performance of the genuine historical music composed for these films when they were first distributed. He plays both piano and theatre organ both solo and frequently together with various size instrumental ensembles (chamber to full symphonic) for silent film events presented in historic movie theaters, concert halls and prominent film presentation sites around the world. Recent appearance lists include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, National Gallery of Art in D.C., Mozarteum in Salzburg and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria and Sydney Opera House in Australia. Beginning his film music career in 1968 at the WurliTzer equipped Auditorium Theater in Rochester, NY. Back in the 1980’s, James was the personal music accompanist touring with silent film stars Lillian Gish (6 years) and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers (8 years) throughout the USA and Canada. He went on to create, curate and perform his silents series scorings having 2,000-6,000 average with frequent sellout attendances for such long-running programs his ‘Silent Movie Mondays’ (Seattle Paramount), ‘Nickelodeon Series’ (San Diego Symphony), ‘Summer Silents’ (Spreckels Organ Society) and his Indiana University Auditorium silents series now entering 55th year.


YouTube INTERVIEW video made at Kenyon Hall
PLAYING historic "Blind Boone" 19th c. grand piano