The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Dennis James, organ
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
Silent film (1923)
Organist Dennis James provides a chilling soundtrack for the silent-film classic, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." The 1923 film, based on Victor Hugo's 1831 novel of the same name, is known for the grand sets that recall 15th century Paris as well as for Lon Chaney's performance and make-up as the tortured hunchback Quasimodo, the deaf, half-blind, hunchbacked bell-ringer of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Dennis James has dedicated his professional career to the theatrical traditions of organ performance and furthering public interest in the pipe organ. From the time he began performing concerts while still in his teens, James has been at the top of the organ profession. He has played virtually everywhere pipe organs are to be found, from the spectacular movie palaces throughout the United States and Canada to the most prestigious concert halls and theaters in Europe and the Far East.
For more than 40 years Dennis James has played a pivotal role in the international revival of silent films with live music. Beginning as an accompanist for university screenings, James now tours worldwide under auspices of his Silent Film Concerts production company presenting professional silent film programs with accompaniments ranging from solo piano or theatre organ, to chamber ensembles and full symphony orchestras. Performing to film at an ever-increasing number of sites throughout the world, James is celebrated for providing the most comprehensive selection of authentic silent films with live music presentations available today. James recently performed sellout silent film programs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Meyerson Symphony Center, and his international silent film presentations have been seen most recently in Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, England , Singapore, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and Italy.
A featured solo performer on the international film festival circuit, James appears regularly at the annual Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia events as well as the Pordenone and Rome (Italy) Festivals Cinema Muto. He may be seen frequently at the National Gallery of Art, the Walker Film Center in Minneapolis, the Cleveland Cinematheque and for the Chicago Art Institute, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and the Palazzo Delle Espisozioni in Rome. James has performed programs under the auspices of the American Film Institute, National Film Registry, Museum of Modern Art, Library of Congress, Pacific Film Archive, George Eastman House, American Federation of the Arts, UCLA Film and Television Archive and the British Film Institute.