The world of video games has changed dramatically since “Pong” hit screens 40 years ago, especially when it comes to music. Originally limited to simple melodies produced by early synthesizers, today’s games feature full-scale orchestral scores created by some of the world’s most talented composers. The Grand Rapids Symphony will pay homage to the digital age and its blockbuster themes when it performs the internationally known concert production “Play! A Video Game Symphony” on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall.
Composer and conductor Andy Brick will lead the orchestra and members of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus in this performance of dramatic and mystical music from 11 video games including “Final Fantasy,” “Legend of Zelda,” “HALO,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Super Mario Brothers.” The inventive, breathtaking performance combines a live performance of the scores with strikingly beautiful digital montages on three high definition screens.
Andy Brick is a prolific composer, conductor and symphonist of music for film, television, live concerts and interactive games. He has extensive experience composing and recording orchestral scores for cinematic soundtracks and is a winner of numerous prestigious awards, including ASCAP Young Film Composer Award, ASCAP Popular Music Award, and CINE Golden Eagle Award. Brick has composed music for Game Projects by Electronic Arts, Sony, Interplay, Broderbund, Saffire, Mattel, and Konami and 3DO. In 2003, Brick scored two of the years largest blockbuster game titles “SimCity 4: Rush Hour” and “The Sims 2.
Also in 2003, Brick conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in the world's first Symphonic Game Music concert in Germany. “I believed the concert could be a bridge by which a whole new generation of orchestral music lovers could arrive at the orchestra,” said Brick.
Brick made his debut with Play! A Video Game Symphony in 2009 with the North Caroline Symphony. “The show is an extraordinary experience for video game enthusiasts and classical music fans alike,” Brick continued. “‘Play!’ is a celebration of the passionate, evocative, and wholly engaging orchestral music that enlivens the greatest video games of our time.”
Tickets start at $32 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder), or by calling 616/454-9451, Ext. 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800/982-2787, online at www.grsymphony.org, or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee.
About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grammy-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. Led by Music Director David Lockington, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony sponsors the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, and also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit www.grsymphony.org.
These concerts are made possible with support from the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.