Video game themes connect youth to orchestral music

Posted on: July 29, 2010

In Wednesday’s (7/28) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “These days, a lot of people in the classical music world are worried that kids aren’t connecting with orchestral music. But the music of video games is emerging as one way orchestras may actually be reaching new audiences. It’s certainly proliferating. On Friday at Wolf Trap, the National Symphony Orchestra is presenting ‘Distant Worlds,’ a concert devoted to the music of the Final Fantasy video-game series, which marks its 20th anniversary this year (tickets are still available). On Aug. 7, WETA will broadcast [the Louisiana Philharmonic’s performance of] ‘Video Games Live,’ another video-game concert that has come to a number of American orchestras (including the NSO) in recent years; the show will come to Strathmore in February. … these concerts offer orchestras a shot at a new, excited audience, aged about 17 to 35, ready to be passionate about the music. The atmosphere at concerts is a hybrid of pop and classical tradition, says Arnie Roth, the ‘Distant Worlds’ conductor. ‘When the piece is over there’s great cheering and ovations,’ he says. ‘But the flip side is they’re such great, attentive and respectful listeners, which is unusual during pop concerts, meaning you can hear a pin drop during the orchestral performances.’ ”

Posted July 29, 2010