Elaine Loebenstein has a special interest in classical improvisation and combines this passion with her sensitivity and sensibilities as an experienced collaborative pianist to respond to filmic art through interactive, spontaneous music-making.

Loebenstein composes in real-time at the piano, reacting to the visual with extemporised music that has been described as a combination of Neo-Classical, Contemporary and Minimalistic styles. No two performances are the same. She has recorded multiple improvised soundtracks for DVD’s of restored archival footage for clients including Editionfilmmuseum and The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, as well as providing the soundtrack to a major exhibition mounted at the National Museum of Australia. Her work with ephemeral footage has appeared in installations in Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Neue Galerie, New York City.

She has appeared at film and arts festivals worldwide including Viennale, Stummfilmtage Bonn, Giornate del Cinema Muto Pordenone, Orphans Festival NYC, the Galway Film Fleadh, Budapest Classics Film Marathon, Rocks Village Bizarre Sydney, the Enlighten Festival Canberra and the Australian National Folk Festival and at venues including Sydney Opera House, Cathedral Hall Melbourne, Parliament House Canberra, Auckland Town Hall, the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, New York University and the SVA Theater in Manhattan. She has toured across regional Australia, including outdoor screenings in Mildura and Mount Gambier as well as at Sun Pictures in Broome, Western Australia (the world’s oldest picture gardens). Recent European tours have included performances in Prague, Budapest, Ljubljana and Linz in co-operation with national archives and film institutes. She performs regularly in Vienna at the Österreichisches Filmmuseum, Metrokino (Filmarchiv Austria) and Breitenseer Lichtspiele as well as at festivals including Pianistengasse and Kino wie noch nie.


Film Performances

This list is by no means exhaustive but rather is intended to show the broad range of silent classics that Elaine has enjoyed creating live soundtracks for:

Silent Film Series

Additionally she has played for silent film series incorporating the major works of directors including D.W. Griffith, Erich von Stroheim, Howard Hawkes, Joe May and Yasujirō Ozu.

Short Film Programmes

She has performed for numerous short film programmes incorporating documentary, ephemeral, orphan, advertising and newsreel footage. These programmes have included collections such as The Corrick Collection (NFSA Australia), and Victorians on the Big Screen: Films made by the British Mutoscope and Biograph Company (BFI London). She has accompanied several programmes exploring early French cinema including the grouped works of filmmakers such as Georges Méliès, Pathé Frères, Roméo Bosetti and Gaston Velle.

She has played for a diverse range of archival material presented at festivals, conferences and symposiums such as the Orphans Film Symposium in New York, Orphans Special Edition Vienna and the Galway Film Fleadh as well as accompanying an extensive series celebrating the work of FIAF (the International Federation of Film Archives) at the Austrian Filmmuseum. In this series, curators from member archives personally introduced innovative and thoughtful programmes showcasing their own collections.

She has played for documentary and actuality films in historical programmes – particularly in Austria and Australia – including many showing Vienna in the silent era, Red Vienna in Die Ersatzrevolution. Filme des Roten Wien[29] and Sydney in the early 1900's. She will perform with similar materials in a number of programmes at the upcoming conference of Domitor,[30][31]the International Society for the Study of Early Cinema.

In what was her first ever performance with silent film, she accompanied a collection of interesting and bizarre materials from the Irish Film Archive at the Kilruddery Silent Film Festival. Additionally she performed at the Saving Private Reels conference in University College Cork.

For further information on Soundtracks, DVD releases etc see main website: