From, 2008: Conductor, arranger and musical scholar John Wilson will bring his 58-piece orchestra to the Shaw Theatre August 20-23 for That’s Entertainment!, an evening of music and song that celebrates the great MGM musicals.

The John Wilson Orchestra will perform original orchestrations and scores, many of which have been newly reconstructed by Wilson himself, to pay tribute to some of America’s greatest composers and songwriters, including George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Harry Warren, Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers as well as the great Hollywood arrangers Conrad Salinger, Johnny Green and Nelson Riddle. The evening will feature music and songs from some of Hollywood’s best-loved MGM musicals: High Society, Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Ziegfeld Follies, Meet Me in St. Louis and The Wizard of Oz. Special guest vocalists are Matt Ford, Rachel Weston and Gary Williams.

As a conductor, Wilson works regularly with the Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish and BBC Concert orchestras. He is a frequent guest conductor in Europe: Recent visits have taken him to the RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin, and to Scandinavia, Iceland and Bulgaria. Last year he made his Australian debut in Melbourne and Adelaide and his London Philharmonic debut at the Royal Festival Hall. He is also a musical arranger for film, radio and TV, where his credits include orchestrating Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s score for the BBC production of Gormenghast, which won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Score; Howard Goodall’s score for the BBC/HBO film The Gathering Storm about Winston Churchill; and the soundtrack for Kevin Spacey’s Beyond The Sea biopic of singer Bobby Darin, which gained my brilliant, bonny John a Grammy nomination. He has also worked with Sir Paul McCartney and has orchestrated and conducted several of Sir Paul’s compositions with the London Symphony Orchestra.

He has also reconstructed the orchestrations of the major MGM musicals High Society, Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, and An American in Paris. In January he gave the first European performances of his orchestrations of The Wizard of Oz with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, synchronized with the film.

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