The mystical and lucrative world of author J.K. Rowling has entered a new dimension, with the film “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” to be shown in Budapest accompanied by live background music from the Magyar Virtuózok Zenekar (Hungarian Virtuoso Orchestra).
The film, released in 2001, will be screened in its original English language with Hungarian subtitles at Papp László Budapest Sportaréna on January 21, and according to promoter Live Nation it will be the first such experience for a Hungarian audience: a popular epic film in a symphonic concert setting.
It is the first part of the “Harry Potter Cinema Concert Series”, with future pieces in Budapest perhaps depending on the success of the debut. The film will be screened on a “high-resolution canvas” 12 metres in diameter, while the Magyar Virtuózok Zenekar, actually a chamber orchestra, presents composer John Williams’ score.
CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products are the companies collaborating on the Harry Potter Cinema Concert Series, which was launched in June and is on a global tour.
Justin Freer, president of CineConcerts and producer/conductor for the Harry Potter concerts, said: “The Harry Potter film epos is such a unique cultural phenomenon, which makes millions of fans happy all over the world still today. It’s a great honour for us to be able to offer these fans such an … unforgettable experience for all the participants.”
Brady Beaubien, founding member of CineConcerts and producer for the Harry Potter concerts, added: “Harry Potter’s name means excitement for everyone, and we hope that the enchanting musical pieces accompanying the whole movie will allow the audience to re-enter his magical world to meet the wonderful characters and re-live their adventures.”
CineConcerts is the leading producer for shows combining live music and films. The company founded by Freer and Beaubien organises events around the world. The live cinema concerts include “Gladiator”, “The Godfather”, “Life is Beautiful”, a “Star Trek” episode and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
Freer has directed numerous symphonic concerts accompanying films, including the Chicago Symphonic, London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Band, Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphonic and Sydney Symphonic.
CineConcerts also organises interactive sports events with live music and 3D holiday season programs.
Magyar Virtuózok Zenekar was started in 1988 by Szenthelyi Miklós, a pianist and professor of Ferenc Liszt Music Academy, who assembled some of his young talented students to found the chamber orchestra. With a wide repertoire it has established a successful career abroad numbering more than 500 concerts on 50-plus tours on three continents. The orchestra also collaborates with foreign guest stars and has recorded with many world-famous artists.