UK broadcaster Channel 4 has ordered the one-off documentary Addicts’ Symphony.
The film follows composer and musician James McConnel (pictured) as he unites a group of classical musicians who have struggled with addiction issues for a special performance with the London Symphony Orchestra.
The group includes Rachael, an award-winning cellist whose alcohol and drug problems nearly ended her career; and Andy, a heroin addict who has had a troubled relationship with his daughter Lea. James also recounts the story of his son, Freddy, an aspiring musician who died of a heroin overdose in 2011 at age 18.
The musicians worked with Paul Rissmann and members of the London Symphony Orchestra as well as James to rehearse and compose a new piece for the performance.
Addicts’ Symphony was produced by Big Mountain Productions, directed by Dollan Cannell and exec produced by Philip McGovern and Jane Kelly. It will air on Channel 4 in August.
“For all the participants it was a fascinating experience, but for some it has been truly life changing,” McConnel said in a statement. “For me, watching a group of people brave enough to address their addictions and fear – through music – was both humbling and inspirational.”