Concert ‘Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak’ in Los Angeles

As we already announced weeks ago (read more), Abu Dhabi Festival and Robert Townson Productions are collaborating on one of the grandest musical commissions of our time: “Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak”, an all-new piece, for a new age, which will have its world premiere on Friday, June 14th at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Concert ‘Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak’ in Los Angeles


For this world premiere, ten major composers have each composed a new movement, each piece inspired by a painting by the legendary and iconic artist Bob Peak (1927-1992).

Concert ‘Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak’ in Los Angeles


The Los Angeles Film Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Leonard Slatkin, will perform on the first half of the concert music from classic films accompanied by Bob Peak’s iconic illustrations including Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, John Williams’ Superman: The Movie, Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from Apocalypse Now, Bruce Broughton’s Silverado, Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady and Camelot.


The second half of the concert will feature new music from leading composers, inspired by Bob Peak’s artwork, who will be present at the event: Michael Abels, Jeff Beal, Marco Beltrami, Bill Conti, Mychael Danna, Ihab Darwish, Don Davis, Harry Gregson-Williams, Maria Newman, and Marc Shaiman.


The program will be as follows:

Part I: Legendary Scores Accompanied by Bob Peak’s Iconic Movie Posters

  • West Side Story – Leonard Bernstein
  • My Fair Lady – Frederick Loewe
  • Camelot – Frederick Loewe
  • Apocalypse Now – Ride of The Valkyries – Richard Wagner
  • Star TrekThe Motion Picture – Jerry Goldsmith
  • Silverado – Bruce Broughton
  • SupermanThe Movie – John Williams


Part II: Ten New Compositions Inspired by Bob Peak’s Paintings 

  • Maria Newman: Rhapsody for a Golden Age: 1937 Academy Players Directory
  • Mychael Danna: Mother Teresa, Time Magazine cover portrait
  • Harry Gregson-Williams: Two Girls with Sparklers
  • Ihab Darwish: Curva Grande, Sports Illustrated – 5 Fastest Corners in Car Racing with Jackie Stewart
  • Jeff Beal: New York World’s Fair 1964 – 65
  • Michael Abels: Unbound: Jesse Owens 1936 Olympics – Golden Moments Book
  • Marco Beltrami: Special Olympics: The Spirit of Sport: Jack Nicklaus
  • Marc Shaiman: Audrey Hepburn
  • Don Davis: Golden Eagles
  • Bill Conti: Great Bridge, New York. 1983 – 100th Anniversary Brooklyn Bridge



There will be a pre-concert lecture at 19:00h with Richard Kraft, Jon Burlingame, Matthew Joseph Peak, and Thomas Peak presenting it. Attendance is free with a concert ticket.

Concierto ‘Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak’ en Los Ángeles

In Robert Townson’s words:


“This is a concert that I can hardly believe I am even announcing.  I can hardly believe this is really happening.  But it is!  And you are all invited to join us in just two months!

This is the dream concert of my life!  Anyone who knows me will understand that very well.  For me it was my 12-year-old eyes and ears for Bob Peak and John Williams, on Superman: The Movie and, one year later, for Bob Peak and Jerry Goldsmith, on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, that changed my life forever.

These three giants never budged from the summit of the forces that inspire and drive me. 

It is miraculous beyond belief that I would begin my career just a few years later and find myself working with all three of these heroes.  But it’s true and it all happened.  I have loved film music, classical music, movie poster art and paintings by the masters my whole life since then. 

About 25 years ago, when I was producing new recordings with some of the greatest orchestras in the world and had also commissioned new works, such as a new Star Wars score for a book called Shadows of the Empire, that I had what to me was a beautiful and visionary idea.  I have countless favorite classical pieces, but one of my favorites has always been Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. But much as I loved Mussorgsky’s original piece, my idea was to create a new Pictures at an Exhibition for a new age.  To have all new music composed and have the inspiration for all the new music be the paintings of Bob Peak.  Not his film paintings.  They already have music attached to them.  His other artwork.  He did almost everything.  New York World’s Fair 1964, 100th Anniversary of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, he painted portraits of Mother Teresa, John Kennedy, Anwar Sadat, The Band that were featured on 45 different Time Magazine covers!  He did paintings for The Olympics and the Special Olympics.  For the United Nations and for the Academy of Motion Pictures arts and Sciences.  He painted cars, and beautiful women and couples, and the American West.  He did so much work, it could inspire 50 different versions of Pictures at an Exhibition.  For 25 years it was a dream.  Now, in a major international co-production between Abu Dhabi Festival and Robert Townson Productions, we are preparing for the premiere.

Like the Mussorgsky, the new piece has ten movements.  But unlike the Mussorgsky, there is not one composer … there are ten!

Michael Abels, Jeff Beal, Marco Beltrami, Bill Conti, Mychael Danna, Ihab Darwish, Don Davis, Harry Gregson-Williams, Maria Newman and Marc Shaiman

Each of them has composed a new movement for the all-new Pictures at an Exhibition, each inspired by a different painting by the great Bob Peak!

For anyone who attended the concert Basil Poledouris: The Music and The Movies in 2022, you will know well that the Los Angeles Film Orchestra is a virtuoso all-star group of the best musicians in Los Angeles!

And to conduct this world premiere performance of Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak, we have one of the greatest maestros in the world, the legendary Leonard Slatkin!

But that is not all!  I have just described for you the second half of the concert.

The first half of the concert will be a tribute to Bob Peak’s legendary Hollywood career.

His first film painting was the poster for West Side Story!  Courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Estate we have Leonard Bernstein’s film overture from West Side Story!  We have My Fair Lady!  We have the world premiere of Alfred Newman’s arrangement of Frederick Loewe’s Camelot!  We could not leave out Apocalypse Now and what music could we perform other than Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries!  One of my favorite film cues of all time, Jerry Goldsmith’s The Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture will also be conducted by Leonard Slatkin!  Another dream. Can you imagine the beauty?  As if that is not enough, how about Bruce Broughton’s Silverado! And John Williams’ Superman: The Movie!!

There will, of course, be surprises.  This is the biggest concert of my life.”


Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak – Video 1/2


Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak – Video 2/2


If you are in Los Angeles or around… Don’t miss this once in a lifetime event!!