National Symphony’s Pokemon concert, aimed at gamers of all ages

Posted on: July 17, 2015

“For classical music aficionados, such composers as Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Antonio Vivaldi are household names,” writes Michael O’Sullivan in Friday’s (717) Washington Post. “Junichi Masuda? Not so much. But such aficionados are not the target demographic for the National Symphony Orchestra’s concert at Wolf Trap on Saturday night, in which the orchestra will perform the Japanese video-game designer, producer and composer’s theme music from the Pokemon video games, all against a giant screen featuring images from classic and recent versions of the game…. Youthful Pokemon fans will be drawn to the show’s game theme, while culturally minded parents may see it as an opportunity to introduce their kids to the symphony…. It is all part of the NSO’s larger effort to bring symphonic music to new audiences, says Justin Ellis, the symphony’s artistic administrator…. ‘It’s about reaching out,’ says Ellis, a 27-year-old former Pokemon player who describes himself as the concert’s ‘prime demo.’ ‘It’s not like the NSO is thinking, “We’re going to get you with Pokemon, and then you’re going to love Beethoven,” ‘ Ellis says. ‘But if we never did anything new, we would never have had Mahler and Mozart.’ ”

Posted July 17, 2015