From single beeps to symphonic sounds — video game music has come a long way in the last 45 years, with more scores now recorded and performed by world-class orchestras than ever before.
At the forefront of this exciting musical world is the Game Concerts series, created and produced by Thomas Böcker. A pioneer in his field, Böcker took a passion for video game music and turned into one of the fastest growing genres of symphonic music performance when he organised the first ever video game concert outside of Japan on 20th August 2003 — at the Gewandhaus concert hall in Leipzig, Germany.
Today, Game Concerts has seen hundreds of thousands of attendees through the doors. With a primarily young audience, mainly aged 16 to 35, these concerts are, for many, their first real contact with an orchestral music performance.
For Böcker, quality is at the heart of every Game Concerts show. Since the premiere in 2003 he has collaborated with an enviable roll call of world-renowned orchestras, many of which had never performed video game music before. These include: the London Symphony Orchestra; the San Francisco Symphony; the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn; the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra; and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
Adding to that, the Game Concerts brand has seen shows performed in some of the world’s finest concert halls. The Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konserthuset Stockholm, Philharmonie de Paris, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Barbican Centre London, Vienna Concert Hall and Philharmonie Berlin have all played host to Böcker’s unique, musical vision.
Beyond the auditorium, Game Concerts’ Final Symphonyalbum hit the number 1 spot on the iTunes Classical Charts in more than ten countries at launch, and entered the Classical Album Top 5 of both the Billboard Charts and the Official UK Charts. It was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.
Böcker’s concerts, which regularly feature music from the wildly popular Japanese role-playing game series FINAL FANTASY®, have quickly established themselves as some of the finest musical events in the industry. The Game Concerts ethos is to put the music and the musicians of the orchestra in the foreground, using the score itself to tell unique stories that deeply resonate with a younger audience. With no requirement for video screens or special lighting effects, Game Concerts feature a classically structured program, including symphonic poems, piano concertos and entire, multiple-movement symphonies.
FINAL FANTASY is a registered trademark or trademark of Square Enix Group Co., Ltd.
London Symphony Orchestra performing Final Symphony II at Barbican Center
Final Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra
Final Symphony -Interview with Nobuo Uematsu
Final Symphony-The Album with London Symphony Orchestra, Music from Final Fantasy VI, VII,, X