I have hosted American Youth Symphony film-music concerts for seven years now, but rarely has one been so much fun as Sunday’s live-to-picture performance of Michael Giacchino’s score for Star Trek: Into Darkness, conducted by (the, let’s face it, phenomenal) David Newman. The Oscar-winning composer came out at the beginning, for an interview about the challenges of scoring the Trek films (and confirming that he’ll score the next one, Beyond); and again at the end, to conduct the premier performance of his suite from this year’s delightful Pixar film Inside Out. The sellout crowd at UCLA’s Royce Hall loved it.
The fastest-growing trend for major orchestras — both here and in Europe — is the advent of the “live to picture” concert, in which full movies are shown with live musical accompaniment. I explore this arena in a story for this week’s Variety, along with a sidebar on an upcoming Los Angeles concert of live-to-film Disney cartoons — and a fun story about composer Michael Giacchino‘s three big summer pictures: Inside Out, Tomorrowland and Jurassic World.