Symphony Silicon Valley is making another trip to Hogwarts in early November, as they accompany a complete screening of the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in three performances at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. General Director Andrew Bales says aside from just being a crowd-pleaser, it suits their long-term mission of audience building, and having people who might otherwise not go to the concert hall hear symphonic music.
There’s more information about the performances at the Symphony Silicon Valley website. (And they’ve got a concert of works by Debussy and Richard Strauss the weekend of the 27th and 28th of October)
“Films for us has been an interesting bag,” Bales explains. “We did a couple of traditional ones like Fantasia, and we did Bugs Bunny, which is wonderful, we love doing them, audiences enjoyed them, they were fine. It didn’t fundamentally change who we were selling to, though. And when we went to Lord of the Rings, we saw a completely different audience mix.” The demographic reason to return to this as a format, he says, is convincing. “From an audience point of view, it appeals to an audience that we otherwise don’t see. It’s a younger audience, it’s families, it’s just a different kind of audience.” Since it’s not part of the regular subscription series, it also gives the Symphony an opportunity to hire its musicians more. “Every added service adds to the ensemble feel, it makes these players play better together,” Bales says, and adds that they always have a great deal of fun doing it.