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Channel 4 has commissioned a one-off documentary that will examine the transformative power of music.

In Addicts’ Symphony, the broadcaster will unite ten classical musicians whose lives have been tainted by addiction for a spectacular performance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The ‘uplifting’ programme will be fronted by composer and musician James McConnel whose eighteen year old son Freddy, an aspiring and talented musician, died of a heroin overdose in 2011. 

“Addicts’ Symphony is one of those rare programmes which is not only entertaining and informative, but which has done some real, long-term good. For all the participants it was a fascinating experience, but for some it has been truly life-changing. For me, watching a group of people brave enough to address their addictions and fear – through music – was both humbling and inspirational”. – James McConnel

The original documentary is guided by James’ determination to save others like Freddy from a similar fate. As he follows the extraordinary personal journey of each member of the orchestra through to the nerve-wracking climax of the final performance, James reveals their daily battles as they struggle against the grip of their addiction.

Composer Paul Rissmann and members of the London Symphony Orchestra (Belinda McFarlane and Matthew Gibson) worked intensively with the group, alongside James to rehearse and compose a new piece to be premiered as part of the performance.

Addicts’ Symphony is produced by Big Mountain Productions, directed by Dollan Cannell and executive produced by Philip McGovern and Jane Kelly. The film will air on Channel 4 in August.

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