‘Avatar’ Conductor Will Lead DSO During Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ Screening

Well-known conductor Anthony Parnther will bring to life the music of Aretha Franklin brought to life by her voice and range.

Parnther will lead at the Orchestra Hall Wednesday evening, on January 4, heading up the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during a score accompanying the Franklin biopic “Respect” on an overhead screen, The Detroit Free Press reported.

The 2021 film stars Jennifer Hudson portraying Franklin.

“Respect,” a 144-minute movie, delves deep into the iconic real-life story of Detroit’s famous star on this multi-talented, GRAMMY-winning musician’s journey to discover her voice.

“The movie covers such a long period,” Parnther says in the article. “Typically these biopics focus on one area, but this focuses on a really wide expanse. So conducting the score, we get to go through a lot of music.”

Parnther brings his love for the music of all genres with his prowess as a conductor, producer, bassoon soloist, recording artist, opera singer, storyteller, comedian, voice-over artist, and activist, according to his biography.

Parnther is currently the music director of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra in San Bernardino, California. He has conducted a long list of the world’s greatest artists in virtually every genre, including Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman, Yundi Li, Lynn Harrell, Frederica von Stade, Roderick Williams, The Canadian Brass, Rihanna, Jennifer Holliday, Kanye West, Imagine Dragons, Omar Apollo, Ry X, Zedd, and Alan Walker. 

The DSO’s music numbers will entail roughly 40 separate pieces of music, including Franklin hits and composer Kris Bowers’ instrumental score, according to the article.

“It’s really challenging to pull off. If the orchestra is a measure off, then everybody’s going to be able to tell, because it won’t sync up with what they’re seeing,” says Parnther in the article. “It’s got to be dead on or it’s not on at all.”

‘Respect’ In Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 4, at Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward in Detroit. Tickets are $48. For more information visit dso.org or call 313-576-5111.

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