TORn staffer ImladrisRose was in attendance at Monday night’s performance: and it reminded her of all the very best things about the Tolkien fandom, and the joy it has brought us all. Here are her thoughts on the experience.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 21st Anniversary Concert at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine was at the helm, bringing Howard Shore’s incredible score to the packed house in Manhattan. Led by conductor Ludwig Wicki, Shore’s sweeping pieces, expertly performed by the Ukrainian ensemble, filled the concert chamber with pure magic as we were watching the film play out before us. Soloist Kaitlyn Lusk had quite the feat before her, but performed her piece with grace and ease. The Mastervoices Adult Choir sent chills through the theatre on multiple occasions, whether it be in the halls of Khazad-dum or the Departure of Boromir. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus and their shining stars brought us a deeply haunting experience through the fall of Gandalf, and with every moment they were given to shine.
The concert was a euphoric experience, one that will not soon be forgotten by anyone in attendance. Nothing compares to a live performance like this, seeing your favorite piece played out before you, feeling the synergy of the room. Uniting under one roof for a love of the arts and The Lord of the Rings…
I’ve been a part of this fandom since my mom “dragged” me to see Fellowship opening night. I was a ride or die Harry Potter fan and wasn’t willing to consider anything could impress me more. Let’s just say that I remember audibly gasping as the Fellowship rose over that mountain peak, the Fellowship theme triumphantly booming, and by that point in my first screening, I was obsessed (thanks mom!).
Twenty-one years later, my love of all things LOTR has taken me around the globe, launched my film career, given me an immense amount of opportunity and a community that I adore (looking at you, TORnSibs). I’ve seen the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of this fandom, and overall, Ringers are a group of excellent and admirable folks. With the recent release of a certain big Amazon show, I became disheartened by a lot of what I was seeing within our beloved fandom. As someone who spent many hours with my fellow staffers, moderating comments, it was causing me to lose that love and spark that I have felt for Ringers for 20 plus years. It shone a light on the underbelly of not just a fandom, but the world in general. LOTR has always been an escape from all of our societal nonsense, but this time period was a stark reminder that even within a community you love, there can be toxicity. I LOVE a good debate about anything and everything, but when things become about hate rather than discourse, your point is lost on me. In Middle-earth, all are welcome….
Monday night’s concert reminded me of why I love this fandom so much. It’s been probably ten years since I’ve been to a screening of Fellowship and this crowd was thrilled to be there! Not only would the audience erupt into cheers after hearing a favorite piece of the score performed (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much the entire score!) or after Lusk wrapped a solo, the crowd would literally go wild when a new character came onto the screen! So much so that at times you couldn’t hear the film or the orchestra!
A stand out for me was when members of the Fellowship arrived to the Council of Elrond. Aragorn received a 7/10 volume for cheers, Legolas 8/10, but Gimli received a full 10/10 in crowd reaction! My husband remarked that he was shocked Gimli got significantly more love than Legolas, to which I replied “Gimli has more substance and better dialogue!” To each their own. Fans next to my husband jumped at Bilbo lunging for the ring, and then commented that they had forgotten that part of the film. While next to me at the exact same point, a fan laughed and remarked that he always thought that part was funny. Two completely different reactions to a moment, but both existing in harmony with one another.
The majority of people there that night (I’m quite sure) have seen these films, read these books, countless times. Yet experiencing it together, as one unified group, made it seem somehow new again. The ambiance of the venue, the exquisitely performed film score, the fans reacting in utter joy and exuberance throughout… all of this made the evening a true night to remember… and I’m forever grateful.
Last September we brought you the exciting news of screenings of The Fellowship of the Ring, to be performed with live orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Time has flown by, and now those special performances are NEXT WEEK!
The good news is, two extra dates have been added; the shows are now Feb 6, 7, 8 and 9. It has also been announced that the orchestra for the performances will be the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine! AND there will be a post-concert talk, with conductor Maestro Wicki, each evening. For those of you lucky enough to be able to go, there are still some tickets available; click here to get yours!
AND – if you’re hoping to meet up with fellow fans, either before or after the concert, on Monday 6th Feb we have reserved the upstairs at McCarthy’s bar (46th and 6th). Go along before or after – the kitchen stays open until 2am! – head upstairs, and find your kindred spirits! (Or just spirits at a well stocked bar…) Have fun!
Back in the earlier days of TORn – probably roughly during our Second Age – there were all kinds of exciting events which happened, both when Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies were originally in cinemas, and in the years which followed. There was much excitement when the live performances of Howard Shore’s incredible score started; and then they started presenting the movies with live orchestra accompaniment. Those were heady days!
And now – they’re back!
Next February, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, the movie will screen with live orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Here below are the details from the press release:
21st Anniversary Concert: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert
Academy Award-Winning Score By HOWARD SHORE, performed Live to the Epic Motion Picture with SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, CHORUS, SOLOISTS
Ludwig Wicki, Conductor
238 MUSICIANS ONSTAGE BENEATH A 60-FOOT SCREEN
Radio City Music Hall, New York FEBRUARY 6-7, 2023
Celebrating the 21st anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Howard Shore’s Academy award-winning score will be presented live, in concert. Experience the epic motion picture and its legendary score at the historic Radio City Music Hall, beneath a 60-foot screen accompanied by 238 musicians, including symphony orchestra, chorus and soloists, this coming February 6 & 7, 2023.
“The world is changed.” This very first line of The Fellowship of the Ring has new meaning for a fan community waiting for a return to live events. The 2023 concerts will mark the return of The Lord of the Rings, In Concert, to NYC for the first time since 2015. These returning concert events of The Fellowship of the Ring will bring 6,000 fans a night to see, hear, and feel Howard Shore’s epic score from the opening title through the end credits, in person once again.
The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert, is represented by CAMI Music, who is partnering with Fifth Season and Bowery Presents to bring these performances to life at Radio City Music Hall.
The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert, will be conducted by Ludwig Wicki, who was the inaugural conductor of The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert, and specializes in bringing films and their scores to life. Orchestra, soloists, and chorus for the 2023 performances at Radio City Music Hall will be announced at a later date.
Howard Shore commented on the return of The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert to New York City: “The concerts on February 6th and 7th, 2023 will bring Maestro Ludwig Wicki back to NYC’s historic Radio City Music Hall leading a symphony orchestra, chorus, and soloists. Based in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, where we first performed the complete score to the theatrical version of the film in 2008, Maestro Wicki is the foremost conductor of this score-to-film concert. Over the years he has worked to perfect this music and his precision, detail and supreme musicianship will be on display at Radio City. I am so very happy to have The Fellowship of the Ring return to New York.”
Tickets are available now – and are selling fast! You can buy them here. We hope to host a post show party – probably on the Tuesday evening after the concert, but maybe we’ll manage both evenings! Stay tuned for more on that! Meanwhile if you want to find out more about these happenings, you can find LOTRConcerts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Hope to see you there!
We are making an effort to host live video chats more frequently, especially leading up to the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies! Please feel free to join us and bring your questions and insanity! 😉
Blu-ray.com has posted their review of the 2D Blu-ray release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. High marks are given for both video (4.5 out of 5) and audio quality (5 out of 5) – and we also get a closer glimpse at what bonus features are offered on this Theatrical Blu-ray/DVD edition.