Associate Professor of Music James Doering, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Music James Doering, Ph.D., will perform the piano accompaniment for the 1914 silent film Antony and Cleopatra on Saturday, January 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the 6th Annual Italian Food & Film Festival. The festival, which will be held at Plant Zero Art Center in Richmond, Virginia, will combine classic and groundbreaking Italian films and delectable Italian food. Antony and Cleopatra is one of four films that will be shown during the festival.
Antony and Cleopatra, produced in 1913 by the Italian studio Cines and directed by Enrico Guazzoni, was conceived on a massive scale, featuring elaborate sets, location shots in Italy and Egypt and a cast of 2000. Impressed by the film’s quality, American promoter George Kleine brought the film to the United States in 1914 and hired George Colburn to compose an original score for the U.S. premiere.
Doering reconstructed Colburn’s music, which hadn’t been performed since 1914, from surviving sources in the Library of Congress. His research has shown that Colburn’s score, which includes an intricate plan of 17 recurring themes, represents one of the earliest American attempts at thematic film scoring. Doering has been at Randolph-Macon since 1999 and teaches courses in music history, music theory and keyboard performance. He was the 2007 recipient of the United Methodist Church Award for Teaching Excellence. He is currently team-teaching an interdisciplinary First-Year Colloquium titled “The Sound of Numbers” with Professor Chiru Bhattacharya of the mathematics department in which students explore the intersections between math and music.