BPO to bring music of Harry Potter to life alongside the film in 2019

Nov 16, 2018

Harry Potter films would likely be a lot less exciting without a musical score. But what happens when that musical score accompanies the film live? Buffalo will find out this February.


The film-scores of John Williams are well-known to begin with. But for Harry Potter fans young and old – it’s especially easy to recognize. Since 2016, that music has been played live alongside the film by orchestras around the world as part of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series. In 2019, it’s coming to Buffalo.

Credit www.harrypotterinconcert.com / CineConcerts

On February 21st, the film will be shown on a 40-foot screen inside Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. Its main hall known as the “Wonder Theatre” was originally designed as a movie palace in 1926, and will once again take up that role with Harry Potter on screen, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra playing the score live.

“There’s a very big difference between hearing it as part of a film score and hearing an orchestra live in a beautiful hall playing that music. It’s quite overwhelming,” said BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta.

Falletta said the show is part of an effort to reach new audiences.

“We’re thinking outside the box a little bit with all different ways of incorporating classical music into people’s lives,” said Faletta. “And it’s been very successful because music reaches everyone. And I think this is a way of opening the door to many young people who grew up with Harry Potter and love the stories, love the movies, love the music.”

For orchestra members, playing the film score will offer a unique and exciting challenge.

“Perfectly timed is exactly what it has to be,” said Falletta. “But the musicians don’t have to worry about it. The conductor who comes is an expert in Harry Potter movies. So the conductor will be leading them through with pinpoint precision.”

Conductor Justin Freer will lead the orchestra.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Shea’s website or by phone at (800) 345-7000.