‘Harry Potter’ Film Concert Series Launched by Warner Bros., CineConcerts

Harry Potter
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

CineConcerts is partnering with Warner Brothers Consumer Products to launch a series of “Harry Potter” film concert tours, Variety has learned exclusively.

Beginning with a “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” tour in 2016, “The Harry Potter Film Concert Series” will reformat each “Harry Potter” film into an orchestral concert experience that offers audiences a live symphony orchestra performance of the entire score in-sync with the film, which will be simultaneously projected onto a high-definition 40-foot screen.

“The original dialogue and sound effects will be kept intact,” CineConcerts president Justin Freer told Variety. “All the music is pulled out of the film, so that’s one of the interesting challenges — mixing the live music against the dialogue and the effects.”

“The Harry Potter Film Concert Series” will premiere at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts on June 23 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The San Diego Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Pops and Symphony Silicon Valley will perform John Williams’ “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” score during later stops on the North American tour.

“This is a wonderfully unique franchise to celebrate,” said Freer, who’s also a producer and conductor of the series. “The ‘Harry Potter’ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. We now have an opportunity to add to the following,” he said.

A leading producer of live music experiences, CineConcerts has applied its orchestral-concert model to other cinematic touchstones including “Gladiator,” “The Godfather,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Star Trek” — a special 50th anniversary production premiered last month and will tour through the spring.

The orchestras featured in CineConcerts’ productions are benefiting from the tours’ appeal to younger generations, introducing new audiences to the music style, Freer explained. “I hope that we’re contributing in some small, humble way to an otherwise blossoming genre,” said Freer.

Tickets for the Philadelphia premiere of “The Harry Potter Film Concert Series” will be available through Ticketmaster, MannCenter.org and Mann Center’s box office starting Feb. 20.

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    1. John Miller says:

      I’ve been to one of the CineConcerts presentations, for “Star Trek.” The thing is, the orchestra, such as it is, is basically an enhanced pit orchestra, about 30 people. They could have had more musicians, but I guess that is more money than they are willing to spend. So, stage decorations took up half the stage space. Also, the sound is put through the speakers, which nullifies the point of listening to an orchestra acoustically. With just 30 people, the sound is fairly thin, making it not good for compositions that used a full symphony orchestra. Luckily, I was volunteering where I saw the concert. If I had paid, I would not have been happy! The better thing to do is to see if your local symphony orchestra puts on a program with this kind of music. I have seen orchestras perform “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” music. It is entirely different!

      • I paid to go to one of the Star Trek concerts, and I agree. The orchestra was far too small and the sound was underwhelming, which made for a disappointing concert. Since the Star Trek tour is hitting 100 cities, with a concert in a different location every two days (or even every day), I assume it’s the same set of musicians travelling from venue to venue.

        It looks like the first Harry Potter concert will be produced in conjunction with local orchestras. That will limit the number of concerts but I hope it will make for a better music experience.

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