A Night at the Movies
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: St John Smith's Square, London
Cast: Peter Michael Davison (Conductor) and Southbank Sinfonia

Return to the worlds of your favourite films in this epic concert from Southbank Sinfonia. An ebullient brass fanfare announces the arrival of John Williams’ theme for Star Wars, before the orchestra takes a journey through the works of Bernard Hermann, Ennio Morricone, Joe Hisaishi, and more.

Grab some popcorn, put your feet up, and enjoy.

Movies contain some of the most beautiful pieces of music of all time, and hearing these much-loved songs with a live orchestra makes for an evening like no other. With an eclectic mix of renowned composers, such as John Williams, Alan Menken and Danny Elfman, there truly was something for everyone at this event.

If, like me, you're desperate to find out which movie soundtrack pieces made it to the concert, look no further! Here's the set list, as it was played:

  • Alfred Newman - 20th Century Fox Fanfare
  • John Williams - Main Theme from Star Wars
  • John Williams - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial: Adventures on Earth
  • Joris de Man - Main Theme from Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Bernard Herrmann - Psycho Suite, Prelude, and Murder
  • Joe Hisaishi - Studio Ghibli Melody
  • Alan Menken - Aladdin Suite
  • Danny Elfman - Batman Titles
  • Richard and Robert Sherman - Mary Poppins Overture
  • Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace - Pink Elephants from Dumbo
  • Ennio Morricone - Cinema Paradiso
  • Peter Davison - Family Guy: Warped Kart Racers Suite
  • John Williams - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Suite
  • John Williams - Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Suite
  • Alan Silvestri - Back to the Future
There is something so transporting and magical about a live orchestra, but even more so when paired with music that's the perfect blend of nostalgia and comfort. It felt as though this concert had plucked pieces of music from every one of my individual interests. Horror, video games, Disney, anime, sci-fi and fantasy - almost every genre was covered. From the opening fanfare of the 20th Century Fox iconic number, I had goosebumps. London's Southbank Sinfonia's almost-40 strong orchestra filled every corner of St John's Smith Square.

Peter Michael Davison was our conductor for the evening and his quiet confidence dominated the orchestra with ease. While I'm used to the conductor being our host for the evening at these style of concerts, it was very refreshing for varying members of the orchestra to take centre stage and impart their knowledge on the music choices for the production.

My only slight criticism is the length of time Star Wars was given. While I understand it's one of the most iconic soundtracks and most-loved franchises, it took up a large section of the two hour concert which seemed a shame when the rest of the evening was so diverse in its music choices.

Standout moments of the evening for me included the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Suite, the Aladdin Suite and the Psycho Suite. I'd never heard a horror soundtrack played live before and it was simply hypnotic, as well as being instantly recognisable. A mention must also go to the solo violinist, Samuel Hau, during Cinema Paradiso who delivered one of the most stunning live performances I've ever seen.

Accompanying the music, there were subtle lighting changes, as well as projections onto the wall behind the orchestra, such as the moon for E.T and the bat signal for Batman. An illuminating journey celebrating a wide range of many familiar classics, from composing greats. 

You can book tickets to A Night at the Movies, here.

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