New Mexico Philharmonic plans first-ever ‘Harry Potter’ live score performance

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Tickets just went on sale for the New Mexico Philharmonic’s first-ever live film score performance, and the orchestra is going all out with one of the most beloved movies in Hollywood history.

The New Mexico Philharmonic is bringing the magic of Harry Potter to Albuquerque this September.

“We’re very excited to do this for the first time, and we hope it’s a good first test for us to bring other movies that are performed with live orchestra,” said Marian Tanau, president & CEO of the New Mexico Philharmonic.  

The concept is simple: audience members will watch “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on a big screen while the orchestra performs the entire film score below. Think of it like going to the movies but this time the music is taking center stage.

“It’s an exciting new experience, and there’s nothing like hearing the live music accompany those amazing movies,” said Tanau. 

And the orchestra is not cutting any corners.

“We’re definitely playing the original score, so the orchestra’s gonna shine,” Tanau said. 

Concertmaster Carmelo De Los Santos knows there’s a lot of practicing in his future, but he says it’s worth it.

“I am a fan, and my family is a fan. My wife has read all the books, knows everything about the movies. My son is 14 now, and he’s also crazy about the movies. So that’s a concert that I’m really looking forward to,” said De Los Santos.  

He’s hoping the musicians can get in on the magic too.

“I wish we’d have costumes for it,” De Los Santos said.  

Live film score performances are a growing trend among professional orchestras often bringing new, younger audiences to the concert hall, hopefully more than once.

“Performing film music brings us in front of audiences that can realize the importance of live music, and how important orchestras in their community, and that’s to me, the most precious thing,” said Tanau.  “Let’s make this a tradition in our city” 

Tickets for the New Mexico Philharmonic’s Harry Potter concert are on sale now. It’s on Sept. 15 and 16 at Popejoy Hall.

Orchestra leaders say they’d like to make this a yearly event, potentially performing other iconic film scores.

For more information on tickets and prices, click here.