Wizard Of Oz Music Scales Heights in THE HOBBIT.   Zavod's clever, indeed intuitive, musical arrangements for them have given them a flesh and blood. And even a pulse.

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Article by: Bob Hart;   (Photography: Ben Swinnerton)
Featured in The Herald Sun (Melbourne)
January 2000

Trillings: Allan Zavod's melodic talents leave Bilbo Baggins hanging.

Keyboard wizard Allan Zavod compared notes with troublesome stage puppet Bilbo Baggins in the Victorian Arts Centre at the weekend.

Zavod wrote and performed the Music for the Stage Production of The Hobbit

Baggins, a Middle Earth resident of some distinction, is the star of the popular stage show of J.R.R Tolkien's fantasy novel "The Hobbit", which ends its sell-out season in Melbourne this week.

It reopens in Frankston on February 23. Zavod is one of Melbourne's living musical treasures: in addition to having written, performed and recorded the music for "The Hobbit", he is an ace jazz tinkler and a noted composer of serious music.

His "Concerto for Trumpet, Jazz Trio and Orchestra" premiered last year by Zavod, James Morrison and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, is scheduled to be performed by the Sydney Symphony and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra's in 2001.

Zavod can be found, from time to time, in smoky jazz clubs and providing musical direction for Bert Newton on Ten's "GMA".

"I scored "The Hobbit" a couple of years ago, but it was only recently that I found time to record the album," he told me. "And now it's selling like hot cakes at the theatre."

Baggins, at this point, began to quiz Zavod about royalties and the like.

So I made my excuse, and...

keyboard wizard Allan ZavodTHE HOBBIT CD Review

Article by Pete Best
featured in The Herald Sun (Melbourne)
January 2000

J.R.R. Tolkien: genius

Allan Zavod: genius

Bilbo Baggins: eleventy-year-old hobbit

But what a combination!

The acclaimed Zavod has fashioned music to accommodate the charming songs of dwarves, goblins and trolls written by Tolkien and now part of the sold-out stage play of The Hobbit

Tolkien's eternal stories of good versus evil regularly featured the poems and songs of the varied inhabitants of Middle Earth.

You didn't need music to feel their rhythm across the pages of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

But Zavod's clever, indeed intuitive, musical arrangements for them have given them a flesh and blood. And even a pulse.

For Zavod, The Hobbit has been a rewarding project, perhaps even an insight into the mind of the author. Many of Tolkien's friends were killed during the Great War and his most creative years were spent with Germany's evil casting long shadows. His response? - Perhaps the greatest achievement of literary imagination.

(The Hobbit soundtrack is available only at theatre venues. The Hobbit starts at the Frankston Cultural Centre on February 23. It returns to Her Majesty's Theatre on March 8.)

Note: Christine Anketell's stage production (puppetry version) of Tolkien's The Hobbit toured Australia in 1997 and again in 2000. The production featured 82 stringless Bunraku-style puppets that took about 6,000 hours to make. 11 puppeteers manipulated the puppets with Gandalf played by an actor in full costume.

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