PLAY! Charles Hazlewood with Army of Generals and the British Paraorchestra

Dust off your SNESs, N64s and boot up your Playstations as Charles Hazlewood takes us on a musical adventure into some of the gaming world’s most memorable soundtracks.

PLAY! is a symphonic roller-coaster ride of classic computer game themes alongside the orchestral works that paved the way. Taking Holst’s The Planets and Strauss’s iconic tone poems as a starting point, the programme takes in the high-octane pursuit of Grand Theft Auto, the legendary theme to Tetris, the cinematic soundtrack to Final Fantasy VIII and many more. Tonight’s show will bring together gamers young and young at heart as it references classic console music from the past four decades.

First performed to a rapt audience at Glastonbury Festival 2017, Play! is conducted by Hazlewood and performed by a forty-piece ensemble of musicians from the electrifying Army of Generals and members of the world’s only professional collective of disabled musicians, the British Paraorchestra. Also confirmed to appear as a special guest is BBC's All Together Now finalist Victoria Oruwari, who will provide vocals for 'Everybody's Gone To The Rapture' by Jessica Curry.


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Computer game style illustration of the Barbican

Podcast: Ode to Joysticks - Episode 1

Take it up a level and explore video game music and its adventure from consoles to concert halls and beyond. Listen to a brief history of computer game composition with a professor, a doctor and one of the people behind the music on the Commodore 64.

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Listen: Contemporary Classical on Spotify

Discover music from across the Contemporary Classical spectrum – from Judith Weir and George Benjamin to Nils Frahm and Max Richter.

Beat the queues

Members enjoy priority booking for this show, discounts on selected shows & members-only events including pre-show DJ sets in the Members’ Lounge

Getting Here

The exciting events of Barbican OpenFest will impact access to the centre from 17–18 March. Plan your route here and find out more about accessibility here.

Barbican Hall