Music on film

Piano coaching for actors

Joe has worked with many film and television actors, helping them prepare for roles where they must perform music on camera, making their appearance at the piano credible, expressive and real.

Joe’s work includes the following achievements:

Patrick Melrose 2017 (Sky Atlantic): Taught Hugo Weaving (The Matrix/The Lord of the Rings/Captain America) how to play from scratch

Interlude in Prague 2017: Coached Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk/The Adventurer) various piano skills for his role as Mozart

Testament of Youth 2014: Taron Egerton (Robin Hood/Kingsman/Eddie the Eagle) worked with Joe for six weeks on just two hours of Chopin so that he could look convincing for this scene. Joe also arranged the piece for six hands that follows. 

Film stars lives being what they are. Taron was hot foot onto another project, but as he put it to Joe later, “I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but it doesn’t matter, because I’d like to arrange a lesson with you please!”

Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider/Ex Machina/Jason Bourne) who needed to play while looking like she hated playing the piano.  

Becoming Jane 2007: Taught Anne Hathaway (The Devil wears Prada/Les Miserables) to play from scratch in six weeks (many lessons) as Jane Austen for hand and finger close-ups.  Overdubbed opening sequence.

Other film work
Joe has also collaborated with screen writer Peter Morgan (The Crown/The Queen/Frost Nixon) as a music consultant in his early days (Joe was Morgan’s first-call theatre composer on various student trips to Edinburgh in the 80’s), and with Hollywood film composer Rolfe Kent. It was while working with Kent that Joe conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in Studio 1 of London’s world-famous Abbey Road Studios.