Signature SeriesThe Lord of the Rings Symphony

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Wednesday / April 19, 2017 / 8:00 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
301 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Alan Lee's illustration of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional valley of "Helm's Deep"
The spirit of J. R. R. Tolkien's <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>, set in "Helm's Deep" (pictured here) among many other fictional venues, will come to life in a symphony by Howard Shore '69 '08H.
Illustration by Alan Lee

Composer and Berklee alumnus Howard Shore ’69, ‘08H created his epic The Lord of the Rings Symphony in six movements to express J. R. R. Tolkien's books and Peter Jackson's films as an immense symphonic work. The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, featuring top Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee musicians and vocalists, will perform this monumental work at Boston’s Symphony Hall on Wednesday, April 19, at 8:00 p.m.

After four years of writing, The Lord of the Rings Symphony for orchestra, chorus, and soloists was realized. Together with conductor John Mauceri, Shore adapted the form and transitions from his longer film scores to Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, molding them into a series of tone poems free of the specific visual linkage to the films. The resulting symphony adheres less to the demands of a film score and more to the traditional orchestral works of influences such as Strauss, Liszt, Smetana, and Sibelius.

“It is very gratifying to see the music from The Lord of the Rings trilogy find a new life on the concert stage,” Shore says. “The music was conceived in Wellington through collaboration with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, and it is only fitting that the piece had its premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, which is the home of Middle-earth. Since the premiere, the symphony has played in sold-out performances in North America, Europe, the Far East, and Australia. We are thrilled that we are able to bring the symphony project to Symphony Hall.”

The symphony will be conducted by Markus Huber and will feature soloist Maureen McMullan, assistant chair of Berklee's Voice Department.