Live Scoring Breathes New Life Into Cinematic Masterpieces

A powerful cinematic score can elevate a film from incredible to iconic, memorable to magical. While apparent to the aurally attuned, a film’s score can go unnoticed by casual moviegoers. It is an element of film that, if removed, would drastically alter the viewing experience. The best composers weave their work into the very DNA of films, creating lush soundscapes that convey the story as it unfurls. Subtly supporting the visual elements until the moment is just right, the score explodes to the forefront in sensational harmony with the filmography and special effects. Some of the most memorable original film compositions are the works of John Williams (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park), Danny Elfman (Batman, Mission Impossible) and Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Inception, The Lion King).

Symphonic organizations across the country have recognized the market for live-scored film showings, expanding their draw to an audience that might previously have foregone an evening at their local concert hall. By pairing the zeal of moving picture with the energy of live music, a dynamic and unrivaled experience is on offer. As the conductor gesticulates, commanding his orchestral palette with the immense weight of a full symphony on display, one might think this would prove a distraction to actually watching film; quite the opposite is true. Witnessing the symbiosis of sound and vision seamlessly intertwine is an indelible experience that reimagines the enjoyment of cinema. The viewer leaves the performance hall feeling like they have seen their favorite film for the first time.  

The Oregon Symphony hosts several live-score performances each year from September to February in Portland’s magnificent Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Ticket packages are on sale now, remaining individual tickets will be made available in the coming months. With purchase of the “Popcorn Pass” subscription, members will gain admission to all four of the concert performances for the 2019/20 season. This year’s pass will include Star Wars: The Empire Strikes BackBatman, Ghostbusters, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, four of the most iconic film scores in cinema history. Whether they are watching for the first time, or the twentieth, this season offers something for viewers of all ages to enjoy. Individual tickets sell out quickly for these must-see events; the “Popcorn Pass” is recommended to ensure you don’t miss a single scene.

The Oregon Symphony’s 2018/19 film series concludes this weekend with three performances of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Show times are Saturday, February 16, at 7:30 PM and Sunday, February 17, at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM.