Günter Buchwald

The composer, conductor and instrumentalist Günter A. Buchwald belongs to the founders of the international renaissance of Silent Movie concerts and is considered a worldwide leading master of this genre.
Based on a scene-precise knowledge of his wide ranged repertoire of more than 3400 films (aside films by Murnau, Lang, Lubitsch and Pabst, also Eisenstein, René Clair, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, as well as rare silent movies from Japan) Buchwald has accompanied since the late 70s, in more than 3200 performances silent films by conducting orchestras or improvising on piano, violin, viola and organ.

The ”Freiburger Filmharmoniker”, founded in 1992 and his ”Silent Movie Music Company” belong to the internationally renowned ensembles for silent film accompaniment. 
He is the musical director of the Bristol Slapstick Festival, permanent guest conductor of the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra for film concerts and leads the European Silent Screen Virtuosi. Since 2020 he is conductor of the Octuor de France for cinema concerts and since 2022 conductor of the Babylon Orchester Berlin. He is regularly invited to great international film festivals (i.a. Berlinale, Bonner Sommerkino, Int. Munic Silent Festival, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto Pordenone, British Silent Filmfestival, Filmfestival Kyoto; Filmfestival Valparaiso, Seattle Film Festival, San Francisco Silent Film Festival).

Aside the reconstruction of lost or incomplete original soundtracks, Buchwald has composed several new original orchestral scores (Murnau’s ”FAUST” and “NOSFERATU”, but also the rare Japan movie “The Girl Sumiko – What made her do it?”). His new music for the restored and completed version of the long time lost franco-russian production “Casanova” from 1927 has had a first screening in 2019 with the Freiburg Philh. Orchestra. A recently subtly modified and completed version had its French premiere in 2021 at the festival ‘Lumière’ with the Orchestra national de Lyon under the baton of Maestro Buchwald. A DVD/BluRay CASANOVA will be published in October 2022.

With the Octuor de France he recently reconstructed und recorded the music scores for L’ARLÉSIENNE (André Antoine, 1922) and LA FEMME ET LE PANTIN (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1929 – DVD Edition La Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, 2021).


Ensemble improCinema


Frank Bockius studied as a percussionist at the conservatory in Trossingen,Germany. He formed his own jazz quintet “Whisper hot” and the percussion band “Timpanicks”, worked with dance companies and theatres, playing baroque, flamenco, latin music. Frank took part in many festivals all over the world: Italy, Japan, Finland,  England, Turkey, USA, Germany, Switzerland. He joined Guenter Buchwald’s Silent Movie Music Company 25 years ago. He is currently a drums and percussion teacher and a freelance musician.

Mirko Cisilino began playing the trumpet at the age of 11, showing also interest in composing and arranging. He studied music in Udine, Klagenfurt and Amsterdam. He collaborated with various theaters actors in Friuli, organized a show “Miniere” with Aida Talliente, participated in many European festivals. Mirko played with Zerorchestra, ensemble of musicians accompanying the silent films. He is a multifaceted performer, playing the horn, trumpet, trombone, moog synthesizer. He is a member of Doug Hammon Trio, of Maistah Aphrica, and of C’mon Tigre. From 2019 Mirko is part of Franco D’Andrea Trio. He is a member of Abbey Town Jazz Orchestra and Tower Jazz Composers Orchestra. In 2020 came out his first album as a leader (Effetto Carsico for Auand Records).

Romano Todesco began studying accordion at the age of 6, and later playing also a double bass. He graduated at Conservatoy G. Tartini in Trieste in 1990. Romano participated in many festivals and concerts, playing classical music, jazz, contemporary and ethnic pieces with famous musicians. He is one of the founders of Zerorchestra, the ensemble of musicians accompanying silent films. Romano wrote music for theatre performances “Padre Selvaggio” by P. P. Pasolini and “Letture sul Conde” by Claudio Magris. He worked with many actors, like Carla Manzon, Rita Maffei, Fabiano Fantini, Giorgio Monte.

Photo © Klaus Polkowski