1UPdate: ‘Distant Worlds’ brings ‘Final Fantasy’ music to the DSO

Conductor and music director Arnie Roth joins the show to discuss the challenges of adapting video game music for an orchestra and more.

A symphony performs onstage in front of a Final Fantasy graphic

Final Fantasy "Distant Worlds" performance.

On this edition of the 1UPdate, we’re highlighting “Distant Worlds,” the traveling orchestral show that plays the music of the long-running video game series Final Fantasy, which is coming to the DSO on June 29. “Distant Worlds” conductor and music director Arnie Roth joins us to discuss the challenges of adapting video game music for an orchestra, how “Distant Worlds” selects which songs to play from the thousands in the Final Fantasy canon and why specifically the JRPG series’ score lends itself to being played by an orchestra.

Listen: “Distant Worlds” brings Final Fantasy music to the DSO

Also in this segment:


Arnie Roth is an American conductor, composer and record producer. He’s a classically trained violinist and a member of the Grammy Award-winning music group Mannheim Steamroller. Roth is also the principal conductor and music director of the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, “Play! A Video Game Symphony,” and has been involved with the Final Fantasy live concerts going all the way back to “Dear Friends” concerts in 2004, which had their final performances right here in Detroit before eventually evolving into “Distant Worlds.”

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