PLAY! A Video Game Symphony is a symphony world-tour featuring music from video games.
The concert tour is a production by Jason Michael Paul Productions Inc., the team behind the Dear Friends -Music from Final Fantasy- symphony tour. Grammy award winner Maestro Arnie Roth, Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Chicagoland Pops, serves as Principal Conductor and Music Director for PLAY!. Andy Brick, known for conducting the Symphonic Game Music Concerts joined as the Associate Conductor for PLAY!.
The PLAY! tour premiered on May 27, 2006 in Rosemont, Illinois, North America, and will be followed by stops in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
The world-premiere of PLAY! took place at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois (Chicago area). In attendance were video game composers Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Jeremy Soule, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Yasunori Mitsuda, Yuzo Koshiro, Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Akira Yamaoka and Jason Hayes. The event featured a meet and greet with the composers and director Arnie Roth as a $45 "VIP" addition to the normal ticket price. Percussionist Rony Barrak joined the concert as guest artist along with composer Akira Yamaoka and singer/songwriter Angela Aki. Yamaoka performed electric guitar accompanying the orchestra during the Silent Hill Theme of Laura, which he composed. Aki performed the theme song from Final Fantasy XII, "Kiss Me Good-Bye," and "Eyes On Me" from Final Fantasy VIII. As a special surprise act, composer Koji Kondo performed a special piano selection from New Super Mario Bros.
The European debut of PLAY! took place at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden. Video game composers Nobuo Uematsu, Chris Huelsbeck, Joel Eriksson, Bence Pajor and Gustaf Grefberg attended the concert. Percussionist Rony Barrak joined the event as guest artist again. Tickets for the concert in Stockholm were sold out in 14 days only.
Composers Yoko Shimomura, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Michael Salvatori attended the concert in Detroit. Composers Nobuo Uematsu, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Chris C. Tilton and Jeremy Soule attended the concert in Toronto. As a special surprise act, composer Takenobu Mitsuyoshi performed the song "Let's Go Away" from Daytona USA (arcade game). Takenobu Mitsuyoshi has been confirmed to attend all three PLAY! Singapore concerts alongside with Yuzo Koshiro in June 2007. Yuzo Koshiro will DJ selections of his works including the Wangan Midnight and Streets of Rage series.
For the concerts in Stockholm, Sweden in 2007 a world-premiere of the Final Fantasy VI song "Dancing Mad" has been announced recently, featuring full orchestra, choir, pipe organ and the rock band Machinae Supremacy. Composer Akira Yamaoka will be in attendance at the concerts and he will perform live with the orchestra.
Nobuo Uematsu composed the fanfare that will open each concert of PLAY! around the world.
Nobuo Uematsu was unable to appear at the Sydney premiere, but instead producers showed a recording of him speaking about PLAY! A Video Game Symphony and its release.
The official PLAY! website is located at: http://www.play-symphony.com/
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