Hear a Full Orchestra Play Nintendo Music at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre

Photo credit: Evan-Amos | wikimedia commons

Photo credit: Evan-Amos | wikimedia commons

You may not have heard of Koji Kondo, but chance are – if you’re a gamer of a certain age – you’ve heard his music.

Kondo is the video game composer behind such classic Nintendo titles as The Legend of Zelda.  And on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is giving his compositions the classical treatment at downtown’s Orpheum Theatre.

The full orchestra, plus a 24-voice choir, will perform symphonic versions of video game music from Nintendo’s iconic Legend of Zelda Series.  The four-movement symphony will be accompanied by visuals inspired by the game displayed on an 18-by-35-foot screen.

In other cities, fanboys have shown up to the concert dressed as Link, Princess Zelda, Ganondorf and other video game characters.  Audience members regularly jump out of their seats and applaud, a rare occurrence at a traditional classical concert.

Typical attendees are Generation Xers who remember playing the game as children, according to an article in the Georgia Straight newspaper.  They often bring kids of their own and even their own parents, exposing multiple generations to symphonic music, in many instances for the very first time.

The Legend of Zelda action-adventure video game was first released in 1986.  Players navigate a series of puzzle-like boards, battling enemies and discovering hidden rooms while listening to some of the most stirring video game music ever made.

Legend has it that the famous Legend of Zelda Theme was composed within a mere 24 hours.  Composer Kondo had initially planned to use Maurice Ravel’s Bolero as the theme song, but discovered late in development that copyright for the work hadn’t expired.  So, he whipped together his own masterpiece.

This is actually the second time that Zelda’s music will be performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  A performance last year drew huge crowds and enthusiastic reviews.  The latest instalment features new visuals and music sourced from the 16-game, 26-year-long catalogue of Zelda hits.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performs The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Second Quest Wed., Oct. 16, at 8 p.m.  Tickets start at $53.75.

Planning to go? See last year’s performance? Let us know below. 

For more updates on unique events in Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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