Manila Symphony Orchestra Razzles and Dazzles with their first ever Video Game Symphonic performance

Written by Franz Chan

May 11, 2019

It was a breathtaking 90 minutes gamers and fans would never forget.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra held their first ever Video Game Symphonic Rush Hour Concert at the Ayala Museum last Thursday, May 9, 2019.

The Museum grounds were filled with ooohs and ahhs, gasps, and breathtaking music as Conductor Jeffrey  Solarese the audience and members of the press with what he would call “unconventional” material he was admittedly not familiar with.

While video game music has been celebrated all over the world with performances such as Video Games Live! And several game specific concerts and hundreds of album releases in Japan, it’s definitely still in its infancy in the Philippines. Thankfully the landscape is changing with the help of the talented new generation of musicians who have grown up with video games and the amazing tracks that have become part of who they are.

The MSO definitely did not disappoint, as the jam packed,crowd was treated to an unforgettable night of music from favorites such as Monster Hunter, Super Mario, Zelda and the Final Fantasy series. From the very first performance of P”a Hero” and the surprise rendition of the Game of Thrones theme to bookend the night, you could definitely feel that it was a special kind of night that would be the catalyst of many more video game performances in the future.

Programme:

Proof of a Hero from “Monster Hunter”……………………….…..Masato Koda/ Arr. Jacob Zeleny

Super Mario Bros Medley…………………………………….….………..Koji Kondo/ arr. Nic Raine

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley ……..………………..Koji Kondo/ arr. Andres Soto

To Zanarkand from “Final Fantasy X”……………………….……Nobuo Uematsu/ Arr. Andres Soto

Tifa’s Theme from “Final Fantasy VII”…………………..……..Nobuo Uematsu/ Arr. Jeffrey Solares

Diomedes Saraza Jr., solo violin

O Fortuna from “Carmina Burana”…………………..…………………,,,,,……..………..…Carl Orff

Symphony no. 7 excerpt (as performed in Nodame Cantabile)………….…………….L. Beethoven

Pokemon Medley…………………………………………….……Junichi Masuda/ arr. Andres Soto

“Angry Birds” Theme……………………………………….………….…………………Ari Pulkkinen

Freehold Battle Music from “The World of Warcraft”……….……Russel Brower/ arr. Andres Soto

Nate’s Theme from “Uncharted”………………………….………………..……..….Greg Edmonson

Under the Black Flag from “Assassin’s Creed”………………….…….Bryan Tyler/ arr. Andres Soto

Grand Theft Auto…………………………..Michael Hunter, Craig Conner, Michael Woodrow Jackson

Theme from “The Avengers”…………….………………….Alan Silvestri/ Arr. Matthew Beadsworth

My personal favorite performances include the soulful rendition of Tifa’s Theme lead by the solo performance from renowned Juilliard alumnus and MSO concertmaster Diomedes Saraza,the epic upbeat drum beats of Under the Black Flag, the fun, party vibe of the Grand Theft Auto medley, and the spine tingling Avengers theme.

MSO Rush Hour: Video Game Symphonic is part of the series of Rush Hour Concerts by the MSO to kickstart their 2019-2020 Season Gala Concert with the theme of “Live Music Lives”.

According to Conductor Jeffrey Solares, the theme was chosen to promote the fact that despite all of the ease and availability of music through modern technology, there’s nothing quite like the experience of live music.

The upcoming Gala Concert season has 5 concerts including Music Inspired by Ryan Cayabyab, Beethoven’s 5th and Sibelius Violin Concerto, and Concerto de Aranjuez and Shostakovich 5. Outside of the regular ticket prices, season passes are also available for a discounted rate and with special VIP seating.

https://www.facebook.com/manilasymphony/

In case you missed the performance, don’t fret. Due to the success and demand for the MSO Rush Hour concerts including Video Game Symphonic and the previous Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue; the orchestra has just announced that they are now selling tickets repeat performances for both Rush Hour concerts in Ayala Museum and Ticketworld!

https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1297506860374086&id=155963207757600

It was truly an unforgettable night and by the by the time I walked out of the museum doors, all I could think of was what the potential future of video game music will be the Philippines.

Thank you MSO for inviting Reimaru Files to this truly one of a kind event full of beautiful and inspiring music.

You can watch the snippets from the performance here:

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