ENDORSEMENTS

Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield, MA
“The program was a great success for the orchestra, with strong ticket sales and a large crowd. All the feed back has been highly positive; … The audience also brought in many first time ticket buyers…”
– Michael Jonnes, Executive Director

North Bay Symphony Orchestra, North Bay, Ontario (on The Phantom of the Opera)
“I would like to thank you once more for your terrific performance here… We have had lots of good comments since the performance, most of them something like, ‘How can he keep fitting such full-sounding music to the film for so long out of his head?’, and then going on to say how lovely it sounded. You have really astonished and pleased a lot of people simultaneously!”
-Margaret Chasins, General Manager,

Regina Symphony Orchestra, Regina, Sask. (on Nosferatu)
“It was fantastic!”
-Pat Middleton, Executive Director

Cinemateque Ontario, Toronto, Ont. (on Broken Blossoms)
“Many thanks for the splendid performance on Friday night. You turned what seemed to be a disaster into a triumph! I have had several reports from people who considered the evening one of the best film going experiences they have had. Again, thank you.”
-James Quandt, Director of Programming,

Toronto International Film Festival
“Congratulations on the success of the Centennial Snapshot series at Roy Thomson Hall for the Festival Gala screenings this year! We received many, many compliments for the public and industry attending the screenings. Without your valued talent and inspiration these vignettes would not have been as accessible to the viewers…We hope that there is an opportunity to work with you next year…”
-Piers Handling, Director

Selected NEWPAPER REVIEWS

Union News, Springfield MA (on The Thief of Bagdad)
“Sumptuous sound for the silent adventure epic was provided by Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, with guest artist Rick Friend at the Steinway grand piano. Orchestral excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherezade”, Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” and a fantastically apt and superbly executed segment from French composer Henry Litolff’s “Concerto Symphonique” pressed into service for a magic carpet ride, were loosely woven with Friend’s nimble improvisations.”
-Clifton J. Noble, Jr

The Expositor / Brantford Ont (on The General)
“Bridging the gaps between various segments of these pieces, pianist Friend improvised some brilliantly-timed riffs and extended romps in similar styles, and then added his own
perfect sense of punctuation to cap off the comic moments. Friend’s lifetime of making his piano do the talking for silent film reached its culmination, however, in his exceptional orchestral score.”

-Linda Geary

Special to The Leader Post, Regina SK (on The Mark of Zorro)
“It can only be to Friend’s and the symphony’s collective credit how easy it was to become engrossed in the film. Their wonderful playing added alternately tremendous gravitas and sprightly romance, and definitely put the swash in The Mark of Zorro’s buckle.”
-Emmet Matheson

Special to The Chronicle-Journal, Thunder Bay Ont (on The Phantom of the Opera)
“Shown together with excerpts from Gounod’s Faust and Friend’s music, this was certainly the most effective performance of The Phantom of the Opera this reviewer has ever seen. …..Friend’s music is exceptionally effective, conveying the emotional content displayed by the actors and giving life to the action scenes.”
-Paul Acree

Cinema Arete, Saskatoon, SK (on The Thief of Bagdad)
“I feel fortunate to be able to see a movie of the status of “The Thief of Badgad” on the big screen, enhanced by the powerful score, provided by some of the finest musicians in this province. As in past years, Rick Friend added his expertise—the man is a longtime and celebrated devotee of classic/silent cinema and his keyboard playing remains the heart and soul of “Silence is Golden”, lending it an unmistakeable authenticity, instantly evoking bygone days.”
-Cliff Burns

South Bend Tribune, South Bend, IN (on The Phantom of the Opera)
“The movie may no longer have the capacity to shock or scare that did when it was released, but the SBSO, Friend and Maestro Tsung Yeh proved it can still entertain when paired with as appropriate and thrilling of a score as Friend’s and his and the SBSO’s playing.”
– Andrew S. Hughes