Addict’s Symphony: Orchestra of Recovering Addicts

Published on March 5, 2021 by

The highly respectable world of classical musicians is rarely linked to addictive behaviour. In this uplifting one-off 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, in an orchestra for a spectacular one-off performance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Each musician is trying to break free from addiction: some have been sober for years, some for only a few months. As a musician, composer and recovering alcoholic himself, James has found that music became a huge part of his recovery and he wants to share this with others in a similar position.

James beat his own addiction as a young man. But twenty years after he stopped drinking his teenage son Freddy became addicted to drugs. Tragically, Freddy died of a heroin overdose aged just 18 years old. His death is the catalyst for James’s commitment to the project:

They have only 8 weeks to overcome their musical demons. Can they conquer the fear of performing that for many was the cause of their addiction, to pull off a performance alongside some of the world leading musicians?

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From Addict’s Symphony

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