In 1999 guest conductor Ludwig Wicki founded the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland to perform movie music concerts.
For two nights Wicki will guest conduct the Cleveland Orchestra in performing Elfman’s Batman score.
Wicki does not feel creatively constrained performing the movie score.
“What I can put in from me is emotion, power, or take it back, make it sweet, lovely,” Wicki told 19 News.
Wicki was a pioneer in the trend to perform movie scores in concert. He conducted the score to The Fellowship of the Ring in 2008 at the KKL Luzern in Switzerland.
A self proclaimed movie fan since age 14, a trip to the record store convinced him that movie music was just as loved as classical music.
“In 1999 when I go to the CD store, half is movie music,” Wicki said.
But Wicki sees the movie concert as opening the door to young people.
“A lot of people come to the symphony hall, they never would come if they read it’s Beethoven, Mozart or Mahler,” Wicki said. “Every age goes to movie concerts, it’s a bridge to the classical world.”
The Cleveland Orchestra will be joined on stage by the Blossom Festival Chorus. Shannon Jakubczak is in her 9th season with the chorus and just watched the 1989 Batman classic.
“It’s a unique experience because we are so used to classical performances,” Jakubczak said. “Being part of a movie experience is a real pleasure to do.”
Jakubczak’s colleague Chris Dewald agreed. “It’s great to be a part of something I enjoy, and make a great experience for others.
Dewald, in his 7th season with the chorus, agreed with guest conductor Ludwig Wicki that the concerts can open the door to introducing young people to classical music.
“These kind of concerts are more accessible,” Dewald said. “But we are still performing music and having a great time.”
Batman (1989) featured DC Comics’ Caped Crusader, played by Michael Keaton, and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Directed by Tim Burton, Batman won an Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Direction. Jack Nicholson won a Golden Globe for his role as the Joker. Danny Elfman won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, and was nominated for Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television. Prince was nominated for a Grammy for Partyman, Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television.