January 30, 2012
The Pittsburgh premiere of Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY
Saturday, February 25, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., Benedum Center
|Image from VII Concert|
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY,” the international concert phenomenon featuring Nobuo Uematsu's stirring music from the award-winning role-playing video game FINAL FANTASY on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at the Benedum Center. “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY” will be conducted by Grammy Award winner Arnie Roth and will feature the Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and the Benedum Center Orchestra, as well as guest vocalist Susan Calloway.
This concert is presented by Attila Glatz Concerts Productions in association with Columbia Artists Management, Inc. and appears as part of the Cohen and Grigsby Trust Presents series.
Tickets ($38.25 - $78.25) for the February 25, 2012, performance of “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY” at the Benedum Center may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), online at www.TrustArts.org, or by calling (412) 456-6666. To purchase 10 or more tickets at special discounted rates, please call (412) 471-6930.
With more than 70 musicians on stage, “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY” is a multi-media feast for the ears and the eyes. Composer Nobuo Uematsu's music, hailed by Time Magazine’s Christopher John Farley for “...imbuing FINAL FANTASY games with grandeur and depth, much the way John Williams’ score helped propel Star Wars into hyperspace,” is sweeping and richly atmospheric. Originally created to enhance the gaming experience of one of the best-selling video game franchises in history, the compositions have garnered legions of fans of their own.
“While originally composed to set the tone for the FINAL FANTASY games, Uematsu’s music is as emotionally compelling and sophisticated as the work of any composer working today,” said Music Director and Executive Producer Arnie Roth, who has held the baton for all FINAL FANTASY concerts in North America and Europe, including those featuring the San Francisco Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and Seattle Symphony, as well as the Tokyo Philharmonic. “The breadth of his work is astounding, encompassing traditional orchestral and operatic work to pop-inspired ballads. To witness the overwhelming reaction of audiences – and even veteran musicians – to this music is a genuine thrill.”
About the Concert and Tour
The “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY” concert will include highlights from Uematsu's music for the FINAL FANTASY game franchise (produced by Square Enix and now in its 14th edition since the franchise’s debut in 1987, with more than 97 million units sold). Also being performed is new music from the recently released FINAL FANTASY XIII, by composer Masashi Hamauzu and new scores by Nobuo Uematsu from the newest release, FINAL FANTASY XIV. This live performance celebrates the music of Japanese video game composer Nobuo Uematsu and includes state-of -the-art HD video presentations filled with images direct from Square Enix and exclusive to the Distant Worlds concert production.
FINAL FANTASY VIII: “Eyes On Me” will receive its North American premiere performance in Pittsburgh featuring renowned vocalist Susan Calloway. It was released as a CD single in Japan and sold more than 400,000 copies, making it the highest-selling video game music disc ever released in that country at the time. “Eyes On Me” was the first song in video game history to win an award at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards, where it won “Song of the Year (Western Music)” in 1999.
Susan Calloway is a singer well known to the FINAL FANTASY community as a featured soloist on the Distant Worlds concerts and recordings. Nobuo Uematsu personally requested Susan to sing the vocal theme of FINAL FANTASY XIV: “Answers.” She will be featured in FINAL FANTASY XII: “Kiss Me Good-bye” and FINAL FANTASY VIII: “Eyes On Me.”
After the success of the first live concert of this music in 2002, Uematsu’s music has been featured on several tours, including the first Distant Worlds worldwide tour 2007, which began in Stockholm, Sweden. Coinciding with the beginning of this tour, Roth and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra released the album Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy, which contains most of the songs performed at the concert. The album was praised as “one of life and energy” by Square Enix music online, who found the performance to be of superb quality.
Since the FINAL FANTASY concert’s debut in 2002 in Japan, the concerts have grown to become some of the most popular orchestral events in the world, frequently selling out in a matter of days.
About Composer Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu is universally recognized as one of the most celebrated video game composers in the field, having achieved global recognition for his music from the FINAL FANTASY franchise that has been performed by world-class orchestras around the globe. Seen as a major proponent and contributor for the increasing popularity and performance of video game music, his song “Eyes on Me,” the theme song from FINAL FANTASY VIII, sold a record number of copies and was the first video game song to win “Song of the Year (Western Music)” at the Japanese Gold Disc Awards in 1999. The music from the game series has grown to such notoriety that Nobuo Uematsu was named as one of the “Innovators” in Time Magazine’s “Time 100: the Next Wave Music” feature.
About Music Director Arnie Roth
Music Director Arnie Roth is a Grammy-winning artist known for his work with performers including Il Divo, Diana Ross, Jewel, The Irish Tenors, Charlotte Church, Peter Cetera, and Dennis DeYoung. Roth has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the Czech National Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, the Detroit Symphony, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Sydney Symphony.
Roth is well known in the world of video game music for his work with Nobuo Uematsu and Square Enix as Music Director and Conductor of the “Dear Friends: music from FINAL FANTASY,” “More Friends: music from FINAL FANTASY,” “VOICES: music from FINAL FANTASY,” as well as his role as Music Director and Conductor of “PLAY! A Video Game Symphony.” He was the winner of the Best Score Award at the 2003 DVD Premier Awards for his score for the film BarbieTM as Rapunzel and was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for his original song “Shine” from the movie BarbieTM in The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Roth has produced dozens of best-selling CDs. For more information, visit www.awrmusic.com.
About Presenter Attila Glatz Concert Productions
Attila Glatz Concert Productions arrived on the thriving North American concert scene in 1987 committed to maintaining both the quality and authenticity of popular musical presentations in Canada and the United States. The company’s signature event is the beloved New Year’s concert, “SALUTE TO VIENNATM,” patterned after Vienna’s original NEUJAHRSKONZERT and presented around New Year’s Day in many of North America’s major concert halls, from Lincoln Center in New York City to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. and from Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall to Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre and Montreal’s Place des Arts. For the past 17 years, this simultaneously-produced holiday series has delighted audiences wanting to usher in the New Year to the sounds of Johann Strauss, Jr. and his contemporaries. All concerts feature a 70-piece symphonic orchestra under the baton of renowned European conductors, stellar European singers and Viennese dancers. Each and every year, the producers introduce a fresh new program with different headline artists. For their continuous hard work, passion and dedication, the co-founders of Attila Glatz Concert Productions, Marion and Attila Glatz, were awarded one of Europe’s finest honors, the Austrian Government’s Decoration of Merit in Gold, for their authentic recreation of Vienna’s adored New Year’ s tradition. www.salutetovienna.com. Attila Glatz Concert Productions has also produced and presented numerous other sell-outs including: Bravissimo! Opera’s Greatest Hits (annual New Year’s Eve Concert in Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall); The Lord of the Rings Symphony; Daniel O’Donnell, the famous Irish crooner; Tango Buenos Aires, and more. http://www.glatzconcerts.com/.