“The challenge to me was to create music worthy of the greatest masterpiece of author/artist Jean de Brunhoff. I composed one scene for each of the 46 illustrations of the book, with music as wide-ranging as this humorously wild story. And then to create the multimedia that both respects the original and enhances the immersion in this magical world of music-as-theater. The Berliner Philharmoniker’s staff and crew compared the experience to a film being edited in real time. And as all of the diverse aspects of the production were assembled, everyone expressed both surprise and pleasure how everything ‘fit’ together. I challenge anyone to experience my “Travels of Babar” without at least a smile!” — Raphael Mostel

Babar is at the very heart of my conception of what turns a picture book into a work of art. My favorite among Jean’s books, “The Travels of Babar” is full of alarming and very amusing twists of fate…dazzling, dramatic… Beneath the pure fun, the originality of style, and the vivacity of imagination is a serious and touching theme: a father writing to his sons and voicing his natural concern for their welfare, for their lives… Jean’s bequest to his family, and the world, shines from the books.” — Maurice Sendak

Laurent de Brunhoff  (eldest son of Jean de Brunhoff, and himself author/artist of almost 50 subsequent Babar books) celebrating with composer  Raphael Mostel  after U.S. Premiere performance of the new full production of the complete original, 8-musician version of “The Travels of Babar / Le Voyage de Babar”   At Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, New York City, November 2, 2019   Photo: Bonnie Stein

Laurent de Brunhoff (eldest son of Jean de Brunhoff, and himself author/artist of almost 50 subsequent Babar books) celebrating with composer Raphael Mostel after U.S. Premiere performance of the new full production of the complete original, 8-musician version of “The Travels of Babar / Le Voyage de Babar”

At Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, New York City, November 2, 2019

Photo: Bonnie Stein

Alan R Kay conducting prior, non-HD production at Florence Gould Hall - photo: Jay Muhlin for Source Music, Inc.

Alan R Kay conducting prior, non-HD production at Florence Gould Hall - photo: Jay Muhlin for Source Music, Inc.

Berliner Philharmoniker poster for European premiere of Raphael Mostel’s  Travels of Babar , and also world premiere of complete new HD multimedia production and the new translation in German  Image credit to the BnF on the poster

Berliner Philharmoniker poster for European premiere of Raphael Mostel’s Travels of Babar, and also world premiere of complete new HD multimedia production and the new translation in German

Image credit to the BnF on the poster

Berliner Philharmoniker, Stanley Dodds conducting World Premiere of the new production of Raphael Mostel’s  Travels of Babar (Babar auf Reisen) , and European Premiere of the complete work - photo: Kai Beinert

Berliner Philharmoniker, Stanley Dodds conducting World Premiere of the new production of Raphael Mostel’s Travels of Babar (Babar auf Reisen), and European Premiere of the complete work - photo: Kai Beinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Cecilia Oomes

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Cecilia Oomes

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker, percussionist Clemens Bütje at a dramatic moment - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker, percussionist Clemens Bütje at a dramatic moment - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Kai Berinert

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Carolyn Stranz

Berliner Philharmoniker - photo: Carolyn Stranz

Berliner Philharmoniker rehearsal, Raphael Mostel, conductor Stanley Dodds and pianist Helen Collyer - photo by narrator Hans-Jürgen Schatz

Berliner Philharmoniker rehearsal, Raphael Mostel, conductor Stanley Dodds and pianist Helen Collyer - photo by narrator Hans-Jürgen Schatz

Berliner Philharmoniker, narrator Hans-Jürgen Schatz, conductor Stanley Dodds, composer Raphael Mostel

Berliner Philharmoniker, narrator Hans-Jürgen Schatz, conductor Stanley Dodds, composer Raphael Mostel

Berliner Philharmoniker program, with performer autographs

Berliner Philharmoniker program, with performer autographs

New York Philharmonic, Joshua Gersen conducting,  World Premiere of excerpts from the new version for orchestra of Raphael Mostel’s “Babar’s Honeymoon”   Raphael Mostel with New York Philharmonic director of education, Theodore Wiprud  photo: Michael DiVito

New York Philharmonic, Joshua Gersen conducting, World Premiere of excerpts from the new version for orchestra of Raphael Mostel’s “Babar’s Honeymoon”

Raphael Mostel with New York Philharmonic director of education, Theodore Wiprud

photo: Michael DiVito

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, composer Raphael Mostel, conductor Dina Gilbert, narrators Sophie Cadieux & Pierre Brassard - photo: Caroline Louis

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, composer Raphael Mostel, conductor Dina Gilbert, narrators Sophie Cadieux & Pierre Brassard - photo: Caroline Louis

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Dina Gilbert conducting, Sophie Cadieux & Pierre Brassard narrating  World Premiere of the new orchestral version of Raphael Mostel’s  Babar’s Return to the Land of the Elephants (Le Retour de Babar au pays des éléphants)  Photo:

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Dina Gilbert conducting, Sophie Cadieux & Pierre Brassard narrating

World Premiere of the new orchestral version of Raphael Mostel’s Babar’s Return to the Land of the Elephants (Le Retour de Babar au pays des éléphants) Photo:

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Dina Gilbert conducting, Sophie Cadieux & Pierre Brassard narrating  World Premiere of the new orchestral version of Raphael Mostel’s  Babar’s Return to the Land of the Elephants (Le Retour de Babar au pays des éléphants)  Photo:

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Dina Gilbert conducting, Sophie Cadieux & Pierre Brassard narrating

World Premiere of the new orchestral version of Raphael Mostel’s Babar’s Return to the Land of the Elephants (Le Retour de Babar au pays des éléphants) Photo:

First U.S. performance,   Babar’s Return to the Land of the Elephants   National Symphony Orchestra, Steven Reineke, conductor, Regina Aquino, narrator, John F Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, D.C., April 7, 2019  Photo: Erica Bruce (full size photo available). Multimedia image: original Jean de Brunhoff watercolor, Kendra & Allan Daniel Collection. Used with permissions

First U.S. performance, Babar’s Return to the Land of the Elephants National Symphony Orchestra, Steven Reineke, conductor, Regina Aquino, narrator, John F Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, D.C., April 7, 2019

Photo: Erica Bruce (full size photo available). Multimedia image: original Jean de Brunhoff watercolor, Kendra & Allan Daniel Collection. Used with permissions

Poster for Source Music, Inc. U.S. Premiere of full new Florence Gould Foundation production complete, at Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, NYC, November 2018.  Image credit: Jean de Brunhoff original watercolor from  Le Voyage de Babar , Collection Bibliothèque nationale de France, used with permission

Poster for Source Music, Inc. U.S. Premiere of full new Florence Gould Foundation production complete, at Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, NYC, November 2018.

Image credit: Jean de Brunhoff original watercolor from Le Voyage de Babar, Collection Bibliothèque nationale de France, used with permission

Source Music, Inc.  U.S. Premiere of full new complete Florence Gould Foundation Production with new HD multimedia and the original 8-musician scoring, Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, NYC, November 2018, conducted by Neal Goren. Photo: Amber De Vos

Source Music, Inc. U.S. Premiere of full new complete Florence Gould Foundation Production with new HD multimedia and the original 8-musician scoring, Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, NYC, November 2018, conducted by Neal Goren. Photo: Amber De Vos

Celebrating after the  Source Music, Inc.  U.S. Premiere of full new complete Florence Gould Foundation Production with new HD multimedia and the original 8-musician scoring, Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, NYC, November 2018  Left to right: Leah Pisar (who narrated), composer Raphael Mostel, William Lang (trombone), Laurent de Brunhoff (eldest son of Jean de Brunhoff), Taka Kigawa (piano)  Photo: Bonnie Stein

Celebrating after the Source Music, Inc. U.S. Premiere of full new complete Florence Gould Foundation Production with new HD multimedia and the original 8-musician scoring, Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française, NYC, November 2018

Left to right: Leah Pisar (who narrated), composer Raphael Mostel, William Lang (trombone), Laurent de Brunhoff (eldest son of Jean de Brunhoff), Taka Kigawa (piano)

Photo: Bonnie Stein

Composer Raphael Mostel, Babar, and narrator Bobby Short after a performance  photo: Carol Crumb

Composer Raphael Mostel, Babar, and narrator Bobby Short after a performance

photo: Carol Crumb

Composer Raphael Mostel, Babar and narrator Phylicia Rashad, celebrating 70th anniversary of the creation of Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar  Photo: Carol Crumb

Composer Raphael Mostel, Babar and narrator Phylicia Rashad, celebrating 70th anniversary of the creation of Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar

Photo: Carol Crumb

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Narrators Eli Wallach & Anne Jackson, first Source Music, Inc. presetation of prior, non-HD, full Florence Gould Foundation production of Raphael Mostel’s  Travels of Babar , with lighting by Michael Mazzola, Paul Hostetter conducting  photo: Hiroyuki Ito

Narrators Eli Wallach & Anne Jackson, first Source Music, Inc. presetation of prior, non-HD, full Florence Gould Foundation production of Raphael Mostel’s Travels of Babar, with lighting by Michael Mazzola, Paul Hostetter conducting

photo: Hiroyuki Ito

Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Raphael Mostel, conductor Paul Hostetter, with musicians l-r Aurora Manuel, Martin Kuuskman, Thomas Hoyt  photo: Berenice Cohen

Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Raphael Mostel, conductor Paul Hostetter, with musicians l-r Aurora Manuel, Martin Kuuskman, Thomas Hoyt

photo: Berenice Cohen