Krakow Film Music Festival Presents Disney’s “The Lion King” in Concert

13 March 2024

The Krakow Film Music Festival will present a screening of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s feature “The Lion King” (1994) with Hans Zimmer’s OSCAR®-winning musical score performed live to the film. The concert will be led by conductor Erik Ochsner and performed by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, the Choir of the Krakow Philharmonic and Pro Musica Mundi.

The original 1994 movie features unforgettable music by an award-winning team. The authors of the enchanting songs are OSCAR® and GRAMMY®-winning superstar Elton John and OSCAR® and GRAMMY®-winning lyricist Tim Rice. The score was composed by OSCAR® and GRAMMY®-winner Hans Zimmer, while African vocal and choir arrangements are works of GRAMMY®-winning South African producer and composer Lebo M.

A cultural phenomenon
Disney’s “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Despite the passage of thirty years since its premiere, the original version of “The Lion King” remains among the most successful animated films. The power of the story’s impact can be seen in cultural works, such as video games, a GRAMMY®-nominated Beyoncé album and a musical staged thousands of times – including the stages of New York, Los Angeles and London. As a result, the story set in the reality of East Africa has reached a wide audience, raising awareness of the beauty of the natural landscape and the value of friendship.

“We have been thinking about the classic version of “The Lion King” for a really long time but wanted to give it a spectacular setting,” says Robert Piaskowski, the Krakow Film Music Festival Artistic Director. “For the people born in the 1980s and 1990s the Disney production is the film of their childhood and it still conveys strong emotions. Many of us saw it in theatres, but it kept making waves in Poland thanks to home video and VHS tapes, which kept circulating between friends. It was an animation that brought together generations, with parents and grandparents watching with their children. This time around, we want to remind the adults of this moving story and show the classic version to the new, youngest audiences. It is going to be an extraordinary experience, with the full score being performed live for the first time in Europe,” adds Piaskowski.

An unforgettable score
“The Lion King” received as many as two musical OSCARS® – for the original soundtrack and the best film song. The film was honoured with Golden Globes in the same categories. “It is hard to disagree with the juries of the Hollywood awards as the songs of Hans Zimmer and Elton John still delight listeners, even after thirty years,” says Magdalena Wojewoda-Mleczko, RMF Classic music director.

“Hans Zimmer drew upon the best musical traditions, painting a colourful narrative and following Simba’s footsteps, all while borrowing from East African culture, which can be heard in the particularly rich rhythms of his pieces. And Elton John’s songs? They are among the best in the artist’s entire oeuvre, with timeless lyrics that reveal more and more meanings as we age,” Wojewoda-Mleczko argues.

Return to the TAURON Arena Krakow
After a several years’ break, the Krakow Film Music Festival once again invites audiences to the largest arena in Poland. TAURON Arena Krakow is a state-of-the-art space offering unparalleled possibilities. More than eleven thousand people will be able to attend the concert. Thanks to audio description, the film will also be available to blind and visually impaired persons.

The highest musical level will be provided by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the combined choirs of the Krakow Philharmonic and Pro Musica Mundi. One hundred and fifty experienced performers will take the stage under the baton of Erik Ochsner. The American of Finnish origin is renowned as one of the leading conductors of film music. Critics and audiences appreciate him for his energy and utmost attention to the synchronisation of music and image. He has proven his class by giving concerts all over the world, from Los Angeles to Sydney. Disney’s The Lion King in Concert will be his fourth performance at the FMF.

About Disney Concerts
Disney Concerts is the concert production and licensing division of Disney Music Group, the music arm of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Concerts produces concerts and tours, and licenses Disney music and visual content to symphony orchestras, choruses and presenters on a worldwide basis. Disney Concerts’ concert packages include a variety of formats, such as “live to picture” film concerts, and themed instrumental and vocal compilation concerts that range from instrumental-only symphonic performances to multimedia productions featuring live vocalists and choirs. Featuring concerts from the largest movie franchises in the world – from Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar and 20th Century Studios – current titles include the Star Wars Film Concert Series, Toy Story, Aladdin, Disney Princess – The Concert, Coco, Up, Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Disney’s The Lion King in Concert will be the finale of the 17th edition of the Krakow Film Music Festival. Other events include a selection of new soundtracks by Polish, British and American composers. There will also be the FMF Audiovisual Forum – a series of meetings with experts from the music and film industries. In cooperation with Galeria Kazimierz, the FMF Strategic Partner, we plan to organize the Festival Village with an offer of activities for the whole family. The full programme will be announced in the following days.

Source: press release



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