The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating “America’s Original Music” – the syncopated sounds of early musical theater, silent cinema, and vintage dance.
This performance is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.
This group will bring tears of laughter to your eyes as it aces the original scores of silent comedy films. Charismatic founder and maestro Rick Benjamin is just as entertaining between the movies!
The silent films will be:
Buster Keaton in One Week (1921)
Harold Lloyd in Get Out and Get Under (1920)
Charlie Chaplin in Easy Street (1916)
All with their original scores, it’s going to be a blast.
The PRO came into being as the result of Rick Benjamin’s 1985 discovery of thousands of turn-of-the-century orchestra scores once belonging to Victrola recording star Arthur Pryor. In 1988 the Orchestra made its formal debut at Alice Tully Hall – the first concert ever presented at Lincoln Center by such an ensemble.
Since then PRO has appeared at hundreds of leading arts venues, including the Ravinia Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, Chautauqua, the Brucknerhaus (Austria), the New York 92nd Street Y, and the American Dance Festival.
In addition to its worldwide concert hall, university, and festival appearances, the PRO has acquired a considerable following both here and abroad through its radio programs on the New York Times’ WQXR, National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and the Voice of America networks.
Over the years the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra has been heard on the soundtracks of several motion pictures and television programs. The Orchestra’s audio and video recordings have been widely praised, and considered instrumental in rekindling interest in America’s rich traditions of theater, cinema, and dance orchestra music.