Silent Film Composer & Pianist

Maud Nelissen is a Dutch composer and pianist who has particularly dedicated herself to the creation of musical accompaniment for classic silent films. She worked in Italy with Charlie Chaplin’s last music arranger Eric James, who was himself a veteran of music hall and film accompaniment in the silent era. Since then she has been much in demand by festivals and special events in Europe, America and Asia.

She founded her own ensemble, ‘The Sprockets’, for silent film accompaniment, and performs with them or with various other ensembles and orchestras in Holland and abroad. In 2008 she made her American début at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.

Among her most notable orchestral scores is that for Erich von Stroheim's 1925 classic THE MERRY WIDOW, interpolating themes from Franz Léhar's operetta with the permission and approval of the composer's estate. She has conducted this at the Komische Oper, Berlin (2008) and at various venues in Europe (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Theater an der Wien, Vienna) and the United States (The Egyptian Theater, Hollywood).

Her work has been especially highlighted at the Italian archival festivals of Pordenone and Bologna. Peter von Bagh wrote of her work, "Maud Nelissen is an analytical and lyrical talent who gives film, with her musical approach, a new dimension”. David Robinson, Pordenone's Director Emeritus, has written, “Maud Nelissen contributes richly to each film, but never distracts. It is a total, vital creative collaboration with the long-absent film author”.