Alan Ball and Elton John HBO
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HBO has given the greenlight to a pilot for “Virtuoso,” a period drama about musical prodigies from “True Blood” creator Alan Ball, Elton John and David Furnish.

Set in 18th century Vienna, the series follows a class of musicians from all across Europe at the prestigious Academy of Musical Excellence.

Peter Macdissi (who worked with Ball on “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood”) will star in the pilot. Macdissi will also serve as exec producer, alongside Ball, John, Furnish and Steve Hamilton Shaw. The pilot teleplay is written by Ball, and Macdissi, Shaw and Ball will pen the pilot story.

The cast of musical students includes “The Imitation Game’s” Alex Lawther as Battista; French actor Francois Civil (“Rosemary’s Baby”) as Isidoro; British actor Nico Mirallegro (BBC’s “Upstairs Downstairs”) as Franz; Australian actor Lindsay Farris as Heinrich; and actress Iva Babic as Leonid.

Production on the “Virtuoso” pilot begins this spring in Budapest.

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