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Addicts Symphony

Duration: 1 x 67'

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The highly respectable world of classical musicians is rarely linked to addictive behaviour. In this uplifting one-off feature length documentary, the composer and musician, James McConnel, examines music’s extraordinary transformative power as he unites ten classical musicians whose lives have all been blighted by addiction. 

We follow the extraordinary personal journey of each member of the orchestra through to the nerve-wracking climax of the final performance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 2011, James’s son Freddy, an aspiring and talented musician, died of a heroin overdose. He was 18 years old. Blessed from an early age with an inquisitive and brilliant mind, Freddy was assed as a ‘gifted’ child at 6 with an IQ of 144. He won school scholarships, competed on Junior Mastermind and became a member of Mensa but it was in music that he found his true passion. Even as he slipped further into the drug dependency which would claim his life, music was his constant. His father, himself a recovering alcoholic, encouraged Freddy to keep up with his music as he recognised its restorative powers. Sadly for Freddy, it was not enough.

This original documentary is guided by James’ determination to save others like Freddy from a similar fate.

As he follows the personal journey of each member of the orchestra, James reveals their daily battles as they struggle against the grip of their addiction. From Rachael whose career as an award-winning cellist was nearly destroyed by her drink and drug problem to Andy whose heroin addiction has had a devastating effect on his relationship with his daughter Lea, each musician is pinning their hopes on recovering their love of music and, more significantly, retrieving a trust and pride in themselves.

 

 

Big Mountain Productions for Channel 4

Addicts Symphony
Addicts Symphony
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