Continued popularity of symphonic movie nights

Posted on: January 18, 2017

“The San Francisco Symphony is not the only orchestra making a quick move to capitalize on” audience interest in film screenings with live orchestral accompaniment, writes Joshua Kosman in Friday’s (1/13) San Francisco Chronicle. “Across the U.S., symphony orchestras have suddenly begun adding movie nights to their programming rosters, screening popular classics and blockbuster hits while the orchestra performs a score that used to be channeled through a tinny sound system.” On Saturday, the San Francisco Symphony performed Leonard Bernstein’s Oscar-nominated score to the 1954 film On the Waterfront. “Last fall, the New York Philharmonic devoted a Big Apple-centric week to screenings of West Side Story and Manhattan. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s three-part ‘CSO at the Movies’ series opened over the Thanksgiving weekend, with … John Williams’ score for E.T.: The Extraterrestrial.… The Los Angeles Philharmonic … served up … back-to-back presentations of Casablanca, On the Waterfront and Rebel Without a Cause.… The [San Francisco] Symphony’s four-program subscription series typically sells at more than 90 percent of capacity. It’s a younger demographic as well…. Matching live music to film has become easier with advances in technology.”

Posted January 18, 2017

Pictured: David Newman leads the San Francisco Symphony in Bernstein’s score to “On the Waterfront.” Photo by Eric Kayne / San Francisco The Chronicle