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Video Game Music Credited as Symphony Orchestra's Savior

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Last week, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert hosted the orchestra performing The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert series. The concert is just one in a latest surge of video game orchestra series for Western audiences and in Japan. The Pokemon Company International have a symphony touring into next year, while fan-ensembles perform scores from Sailor Moon, Tiger & Bunny, and Madoka Magica.

Could this trend be reinvigorating interest in classical music? Some say so, if the turnout for Philadelphia's Mann Center is any indication. The video game concerts there draw nearly twice as many attendees as the average classical performances. The increase is a godsend for struggling symphonies where tickets were declining almost 3% each year.

The Nashville Symphony has experienced similar results as Philly. The video game concerts not only fill seats but also pockets with US$13,000 in merchandise sales during just a single performance. The staff make action figures, posters, t-shirts, and more goods available for patrons.

Video game orchestra performances are fairly new to the U.S., having only become available in the last decade. Japan, however, has had symphonies performing popular video game scores for at least 35 years.

Some classical fans are less enthused at what was regarded as a refined appreciation for music intermingling with entertainment like video games. A regular classical concert attendee and Chicago-based lawyer Roderick Branch told The Wall Street Journal, "From a business-strategy perspective, it completely devalues the brand. [It's] akin to Mouton Rothschild using its wine to make and sell sangria."

28-year-old Portland-native Mathew Grigsby is evidence to the contrary. After attending symphonic orchestra performances of video game music twice year for the last seven years, he branched out to Vivaldi and Mozart concerts.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


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