Preview: BSO’s ‘Heroes and Monsters’ @ The Great Hall

There is an enduring appeal to film music. It has a tendency to reward with emotionally gratuitous melodies, the ‘sugar’ of a piece, without the tensions and lengthy virtuosic fiddling of traditional classical music. Scores provide memorable soundbites, fragments of melodies that stay with us whether we wish them to or not. They have a unique ability to work their way into the public consciousness almost autonomously from their parent films, and become immortalised in popular culture as a shorthand for certain types of humour or pathos.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are set to bring some of the most memorable scores of the twentieth century to life in the University Great Hall next week, which is unsurprisingly expected to be one of the most popular concerts of the season. A pleasingly diverse range of film music makes up the programme, spanning the entire body of Hollywood history, from its greatest to its most horrific moments. Needing no introduction, the pieces will include title themes, memorable moments, and suites from films such as Dracula, Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, King Kong, Super 8, The Abyss, Tintin, The Lord of the Rings, The Ring, and Gremlins. Making up the highlights of the evening, equally unsurprisingly, are extracts from the corpus of a true Hollywood legend. The oeuvre of John Williams, a man who composes in ink, and whose primary stipulation for employment is the availability of a full orchestra, will be represented by his music for Jaws, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park.


Leading the orchestra is West End conductor Pete Harrison. An alumnus of the Royal College of Music, Pete’s career has included stints as a player and conductor on some of London’s most enduringly popular shows such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Lautrec’, and ‘Crazy for You’.

As mentioned above, this concert is set to be the most popular of the season, so if you haven’t already, I strongly advise booking tickets as soon as possible. Tickets range in price from £16 to £40. The concert begins at 7:30pm in the University Great Hall. If you’re aged between 18-25, I urge you to take advantage of the BSO’s ‘Vibes’ programme, which offers £5 tickets to concerts at Lighthouse Poole, Great Hall Exeter, Portsmouth Guildhall, and Bournemouth Pavilion. For more information, and to register for a ‘Vibes’ card, please visit:

– by Thomas Gordon-Colebrooke

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