Film music making steady inroads into symphony orchestra repertories

posted by CSWalczak on October 7, 2009 at 9:45 am

In a recent article in Variety, more and more prestigious orchestras are offering of music written for motion pictures a part of their regular season concert offerings. In addition to more concerts conducted by film composers, film music concerts are now a part of the seasons of the Cleveland, Seattle, Dallas, and Chicago symphony orchestras. Sometimes film is shown as the music is performed, but increasingly the music is performed as specially scored concert suites, moving the music beyond the traditional pops concert presentation and into the domain now dominated by the music heard in traditional music appreciation classes.

On a practical level, say many observers, movie-music programs attract new audiences and therefore much-needed revenue. “People come to these concerts who have never been to the concert hall,” says Richard Kaufman, who will conduct the Dallas Symphony in a program of Texas-themed film music (“Giant,” “The Alamo”) this weekend at Meyerson Symphony Center. “They are drawn by the (movie) titles and the program. So in a sense, it’s helping to create new concertgoers who will come back to hear the great classical works — just because of the experience of hearing a symphony orchestra play film music.”

“Live at Lincoln Center” producer John Goberman has launched a series, “A Symphonic Night at the Movies,” that showcases the music while the films are screened. He has staged “The Wizard of Oz” with live music; the “Psycho” concert is his idea, while a recent performance at the Bowl featuring clips from Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals conducted by Newman was done under his guidance.

Read the full story in Variety.

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