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ASO to work its magic with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


A self-professed “Potter nerd” himself, conductor John Jesensky loves watching the magic that happens when enthusiastic Harry Potter fans and music lovers come together to experience the film scores brought to life in concert.

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Jesensky is conductor of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, which last year presented The Philosopher’s Stone in concert and is teaming up again with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for a live orchestral performance of The Chamber of Secrets on April 28.

The orchestra will perform the entire Chamber of Secrets score live as the film plays on a large, high-definition screen.

“It’s overwhelming to experience the enthusiasm of the Harry Potter fans and to go through it with them,” John Jesensky tells InDaily.

“To hear all the fans cheering along to their favourite characters in their favourite moments and the music fans cheering after difficult sections… it’s really outstanding.”

The audience will still be able to hear the dialogue and sound effects from the film, with the added bonus of a live music backing.

“We lift the music up a little bit because we want this to be a concert, first and foremost.

“There have been times when an orchestra has performed something really flawlessly and people have told me that they completely forgot that a live orchestra was playing and they thought they were just watching a really lively screening of the film.”

Jesensky, who has worked with the Harry Potter Film Concert Series since it started two years ago, describes Harry Potter composer John Williams as one of the finest film composers in history.

“His music is both challenging and incredibly rewarding from a musician’s standpoint.

“It’s incredibly challenging when they [orchestras] first get the music but when they can perform it and inject life into the music it’s very much a symphony concert that happens to have a wonderful form attached to it.

“The music is really quite orchestral and it would not be out of place if you were going to a Bach or Beethoven performance.”

The melange between orchestral performance and pop culture is, according to Jesensky, the future of symphony orchestras.

“It’s wonderful because it lets people who have never been to a symphony before come and experience it and enjoy it.

“The orchestra gets to play to very full auditoriums of people and have that connection and outreach to people who might not otherwise come to a show.

“Mozart and Beethoven and Bach – they’ll never go anywhere, but being able to get people in the door and coming back is crucial to the future of symphony performance.”

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will perform Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena on April 28.

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