From Music Director Daniel Meyer

Highlander (Christopher Lambert)

Highlander (Christopher Lambert)

Sometimes the idea for a new concert comes out of the most casual of conversations.  I remember finding that I had been sent a recording of the Highlander soundtrack the same day that it was announced that Game of Thrones was about to film its final season. That got me to think about all the great film and television scores that have come out of the realm of fantasy over the years.  I started the conversation with Alex Hake, our former Operations Manager, and Steve Weiser, our Executive Director about possible scores we could perform as part of a Pops concert with the Erie Philharmonic.  Both reminded me about the wealth of music that had been scored for video games, which was a revelation to me.  Of course I knew that the game companies took their musical scores seriously, but I had to admit that I did not have any familiarity with specific games and their music.  What a treasure trove of fun, Wagner, Orff, and Shostakovich-inspired music lies ‘buried’ in those video game soundtracks! 

It turned out to be relatively easy to start identifying what we thought were our favorite scores, from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to Skyrim – the challenge was to decide what NOT to include in this concert.  I wanted to make sure that we included at least some of the classical composers who influenced these modern-day masters like John Williams and Howard Shore.  You will hear music of Carl Orff from his famous ‘Carmina Burana’ as well as music by the famous German Romantic composer Richard Wagner in his ‘Lohengrin.’  Both composers had a talent for transporting you to a land long ago in a place far away though their vivid and epic musical creations.  I wanted to place those classic composers alongside the soundtracks of today to show how similar the techniques and gestures of those artists were to the utterances of today - a great, sweeping score was as effective in a 19th-century Dresden Opera House as it is today in a movie theatre or home entertainment system in Erie, Pennsylvania!

As this concert is already sold-out, I am continually amazed with how music from these films, television series, and video games have made such a lasting impact on our culture.  In the end, the stories of romance, chivalry, conquest, and heroism are transposed anew in each era, but in the realm of fantasy, our imaginations and ability to suspend disbelief can take us to places we never thought possible and discover things about our own human nature that bring us to unending discovery.  See you Saturday at the Warner!


Daniel Meyer
Music Director, Erie Philharmonic