Music from the <em>Harry Potter</em>&nbsp;films are celebrated in Fort Worth Symphony\'s Concerts in the Garden
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Review: Concerts in the Garden 2019 | Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Wave the Wand

The Fort Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden is off to a great start, after Saturday's The Music of Harry Potter concert.

published Sunday, June 9, 2019

Photo: Warner Brothers
Music from the Harry Potter films are celebrated in Fort Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden


Fort Worth — Of all the Panther City traditions: BBQ, the Stock Show, using your turn signal, Concerts in the Gardens presented by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is the choice of cultured cowboys. Saturday night’s The Music of Harry Potter proved a lesson in the staying power of a good franchise and how to guarantee a June evening well spent.

Conducted by Bob Bernhardt, the audience had a chance to relive all the wonder and excitement of those books and their movies from nearly 20 years ago. The proceedings relied heavily on Bernhardt’s guidance between numbers by way of thematic explanations, composer backgrounds, plot summaries and jokes. While other concerts connect to audiences anywhere from programmatic metaphor to laser-light shows, his introductions sparked memories of the films and in the capable hands of the FWSO let our imaginations do the rest.

A solo celeste playing the gently angular “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone recalled the opening credits from a time when the beloved characters (and ourselves) were younger and more naïve. Themes from subsequent installments Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (“Dobby the House Elf” and “Fawkes the Phoenix”) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (“Witches, Wands and Wizards.” “A Bridge to the Past,” a poignant guidepost in Harry’s maturity through a melancholy remembrance of his mother Lily from his trusted Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Professor Lupin) grouped together all the music from John Williams. If not the most prolific composer alive, then arguably he’s the most widely heard composer in history. Still relevant at 87 years old, his bold brass, woodwind flutters, and sturdy hooks frame the cinema’s understanding of what a movie score should sound like. The bebop swing of “The Night Bus” careened from vibraphone to woodblock and everything squeezed in between and unseen through the muggle world to a breathless intermission.  

Photo: Brad Cansier
Guest conductor Bob Bernhardt

At dusk Bernhardt entered a dimly lit stage, held his baton/wand aloft and brought up the lights by incanting “Lumos Maxima” so ushering in the darker stories to come.

Patrick Doyle took over the composer’s quill for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and his themes “The Quidditch World Cup,” “Neville’s Waltz,” and “Hogwarts Hymn” were in turns celebratory, winking, and foreboding.

While the films expanded the final stories, the orchestra’s programming condensed the closing movies’ themes from composers Nicholas Hooper and perhaps the most sought-after film composer working today, Alexandre Desplat. His “Lily’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 received the perfect touch from soprano and student at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Madeline Yarbrough. Her ethereal vocalizations and deft grace notes added just the right childlike tenderness to Harry’s maternal loss.

The Harry Potter fandom being so pervasive and given that most contemporary symphonic compositions get heard at the movies it is fitting that these tunes get their due here from the FWSO. Of course, Bass Performance Hall is the ideal place to hear these amazing musicians. But instead of the hall’s perfect acoustics, CITG’s orchestral amplification and mixing are comparable to your local cineplex. And they have the Texas sky to boot. Don’t miss purchasing your table or lawn seats for the rest of the month. If you do, Expecto Disapointum!


» Concerts in the Garden runs through July 7 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and concerts begin at 8:15. Below is ticketing info, and descriptions for the remaining concerts in the series.





Lawn tickets are $25. Children ages 10 and younger are admitted free on the lawn with a ticket if accompanied by an adult. Table seats are $37-67. Children ages 10 and younger receive half-price tickets in select table section. Festival passes are available to FWSO subscribers and donors. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the FWSO ticket office at 817-655-6000. 

The FWSO is now offering festival passes for Concerts In The Garden, which allow patrons to attend multiple performances at a discount. Two package sizes are available: A full festival pass, which includes all 14 programs or a mini-pass, which includes the patron’s selection of 5 programs. Festival pass-holders enjoy numerous benefits, including Savings of up to 15percent on concert tickets, early access to tickets and parking passes, priority entrance lines at the garden, and discounts on FWSO apparel at the gift shop.


Sunday, June 9 | Mozart in the Garden: A Little Night Music

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Bob Bernhardt, conductor

Jennifer Corning Lucio, oboe

Sit back, relax, sip some wine, and enjoy light classical favorites by Mozart and more. Experience Eine kleine Nachtmusik, the “Jupiter” Symphony, and The Marriage of Figarounder the canopy of the Texas summer sky. Plus, FWSO Principal Oboist Jennifer Corning Lucio will shine in Mozart’s Oboe Concerto. It’s a delightful way to end your weekend.


Friday, June 14 | The Music of U2

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Martin Herman, conductor

Tony Vincent, vocalist

“Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?” Well look no further! Be there when vocalist Tony Vincent and a full rock band lead the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra through an evening celebrating U2′s greatest hits as you’ve never seen them before. Back for the first time since 2015, this show is a MUST-SEE for U2 fans!


Saturday, June 15 | The Music of Led Zeppelin

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Martin Herman, conductor

Randy Jackson, vocalist

Experience a brilliant combination of passion and power when the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra pays tribute once again to the incomparable Led Zeppelin. With full orchestra, full rock band, and screaming vocals by Randy Jackson of Zebra, you’ll rock the night away to hits like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Black Dog,” “All of My Love,” and more.  


Sunday, June 16 | 1812 Overture and Symphonic Sparklers

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Germán Gutiérrez, conductor
Michael Shih, violin

There is simply nothing quite as awe-inspiring as experiencing some of classical music’s greatest hits performed by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the idyllic setting of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Don’t miss the annual evening of symphonic masterpieces including Tchaikovsky’s popular 1812 Overture set to a stunning fireworks display! It’s the perfect soundtrack for your picnic under the stars.


Friday, June 21 | Asleep at the Wheel

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Michael Krajewski, conductor

The 10-Time GRAMMY Award-winning country music group Asleep at the Wheel returns to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden for another amazing appearance at Concerts In The Garden. The “Kings of Texas Swing” will be backed once again by your Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and they love it when you get out on that lawn and kick up some dust!


Saturday, June 22| Classical Mystery Tour

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Michael Krajewski, conductor

Roll up for the Classical Mystery Tour and enjoy The Beatles’ timeless classics paired with beautiful orchestration by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy your favorite hits by the Fab Four, including “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “All You Need is Love,” and much, much more. You’ll be sure to “Twist and Shout” the night away.


Sunday, June 23| A Tribute to Elvis with Kraig Parker*

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Come hear Kraig Parker and his Royal Tribute Band pay homage to the one and only Elvis Presley. Parker has toured with Presley’s original vocal groups The Jordanaires, The Stamps Quartet, and The Sweet Inspirations, and critics have called this show “as close as it gets” to the real thing. Long live the King!

*The orchestra will not perform on this concert

Friday, June 28 | The Music of Pink Floyd

Brent Havens, conductor

Randy Jackson, vocalist

With psychedelic tunes and philosophical lyrics, Pink Floyd exploded onto the scene in the late ‘60s and became one of the most successful bands in the history of popular music. The FWSO and a full rock band bring back some of the band’s classics from iconic albums like Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals,  and much more.


Saturday, June 29 | The Music of Queen

Brent Havens, conductor

Brody Dolyniuk, vocalist

“We will, we will rock you” when The Music of Queen returns to Concerts In The Garden. Experience your favorite hits by the classic rock band including “I Want It All,” “You’re My Best Friend,” “We are the Champions,” and the chart-topping “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the beautiful setting of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.


Sunday, June 30 | ABBAcadabra*

“Mama Mia! Here we go again!” It’s time, once again, to break out your bell bottoms and dust off your disco ball, because the music of ABBA is returning to the Garden with timeless favorites like “Super Trooper,” “Dancing Queen,” and “S.O.S.” You won’t be able to sit still when ABBACADABRA performs the ultimate ABBA tribute!

*The orchestra will not perform on this concert 


Wednesday – Thursday, July 3-4| Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor

Corrie Donovan, soprano

Mark your calendar for another round of the best fireworks in town. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra honors our Independence Day with a brilliant display of musical patriotism. Pack a picnic, bring the whole family, and join our annual all-American July 4th celebration at the Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic.


Friday – Sunday, July 5-7 | Star Wars & Beyond: A Sci-Fi Laser Light Spectacular

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor

The force is strong in Fort Worth! And this year we will close out the 2019 Concerts In The Garden summer music festival with three performances of Star Wars & Beyond: A Sci-Fi Laser Light Spectacular led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya in his final CITG appearances! On the first half, behold favorite melodies from the realm of Sci-Fi films and television. Then after the sun sets, fire up your light saber and enjoy some out-of-this-world music from the Star Wars franchise, enhanced by a stunning laser light show. Thanks For Reading

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Wave the Wand
The Fort Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden is off to a great start, after Saturday's The Music of Harry Potter concert.
by Rob Laney

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