LSF Artistic Director, Tommy Pearson, looks ahead to the inaugural London Soundtrack Festival


We are so excited to present this brand new festival celebrating film, TV and Games music and the incredible artists who create it. Nothing like this has been staged in London before and, from what I’m hearing from the industry, it’s about time. London is the beating heart of this music, arguably the most important and certainly the busiest city for commercial music sessions in the world. Our famous recording studios, like Abbey Road and Air Studios, are continually booked up, often years in advance, by composers from around the world, all desperate to use these incredible facilities and, of course, our musicians.

So it seemed obvious to bring a festival to the capital.

There are festivals dedicated to film music all over the world now. When I started being obsessed with film and TV music as a young boy, there weren’t any. Indeed, film music was hardly ever performed by professional orchestras. That it is now a fully-integrated and hugely popular part of almost every orchestra’s season is a minor miracle for those of us that have been fighting for its inclusion for decades. I’m proud to have played a part in this growth, as broadcaster and concert host/producer for 30 years. The London Soundtrack Festival feels like the culmination of a lifetime’s passion.

It’s a huge honour to have Howard Shore at our first festival and to be the inaugural recipient of our special Gunning Inspiration Award. Howard’s career is one of the most distinguished in the industry, spanning every possible movie genre and style from low-budget schlock, through comedy, drama, horror, romance, to his very own Ring Cycle with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings (and all those Oscars!). My own personal favourites – The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, two classics of their genres – will certainly find their way into the festival; stay tuned for details. But we will be particularly celebrating Howard’s work with David Cronenberg which is one of the most enduring in the industry: he’s scored all but one of the director’s films since 1979, the most recent – The Shrouds – was screened at Cannes in May. It’s an astonishing body of work for both men and their exclusive Q&A together at the Royal Festival Hall promises to be a real treat.

I make no apology for inviting friends to be a part of the first festival, including Harry Gregson-Williams who I first got to know when he was scoring the Robert Redford/Brad Pitt thriller, Spy Game in summer 2001 and I was making a programme about him for BBC radio. Harry, a Brit who lives in LA, is one of the most sought-after composers in Hollywood and an absolute master of his craft. His masterclass, which we’re hosting during the festival, is a fascinating insight into the creation and production of a film score cue and not to be missed by students and fans alike.

One of Harry’s assistants, who started with him not that long after Spy Game, was a young lad called Stephen Barton. Stephen worked on many movies with Harry before moving on to his own projects and he’s now one of the most successful composers of Video Games Music around (although he’s also very active in movies and TV – his score for the 3rd season of Picard, on Amazon, was highly praised by Trek fans, which is no mean feat!). Stephen and his co-composer Gordy Haab have been scooping up awards everywhere, including a Grammy and an Ivor Novello Award, for their outstanding score for Star Wars Jedi Survivor. We’ll hear some of it in our Games Music Concert at the Roundhouse, alongside other iconic scores by composers like Bobby Slavov, Ludwig Forssell, Stephanie Economou, Harry Gregson-Williams and Hildur Guðnadóttir – all of whom will be there. It’s going to be epic.

And talking of Hildur Guðnadóttir, she’s another of our special guests. Hildur’s work has gained a lot of attention in the last few years, not least because of her Oscar-winning score to Joker. She’s a fascinating artist and I’m so thrilled she can be with us for the festival, curating her own concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as writing a new solo cello piece for our presentation of concert music by film composers at Wigmore Hall.

I’m also really pleased that the world’s finest writer on film and TV music, Jon Burlingame, will be moderating our Q&As and screening intros as well as presenting a talk on his seminal book, Music For Prime Time. Jon is such a great friend of the industry, hugely respected and a brilliant writer. I’ve wanted to bring Jon over to the UK for years and finally it’s happening.

All of this, plus Anne Dudley (Oscar-winner for The Full Monty and star arranger/producer), Anna Meredith (who will perform her score to the film Eighth Grade live to picture) and Paul Farrer (the king of TV theme music, including The Chase and The Weakest Link). We think it’s a pretty hot line-up. Something for everyone.

Please do check out all the events at the What’s On page. We will have more to add so make sure you sign up using the form at the bottom of this page to be kept up to date with all the latest news. You can also follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Join us for this new adventure! Tickets go on sale in September. And I look forward to seeing you in March 2025.

Tommy Pearson
Founder/Artistic Director, London Soundtrack Festival