Thomas Böcker

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Thomas Böcker
Thomas Boecker.jpg
Thomas Böcker in 2010
Born (1977-10-08) October 8, 1977 (age 38)
Dohna, Saxony,
Germany
Occupation Producer
Years active 1999—Present

Thomas Böcker (born October 8, 1977) is an award winning German producer.[1][2] He is most known for his work on the annual Symphonic Game Music Concerts initiated in 2003, historical for being the longest running and the first of their kind outside Japan.[3][4][5] He produced the first live performance of video game music by the London Symphony Orchestra,[6] and was presented with the national Cultural and Creative Pilots Award by the German Federal Government, which recognises outstanding entrepreneurs within Germany’s cultural and creative industries.[7]

Early life[edit]

Thomas Böcker spent his childhood growing up in the small mountain town of Lauenstein. Coming from a family of teachers, he developed an appreciation for Classical music from a young age and regularly attended symphonic concerts.[8] Like many others in Europe, he grew up playing the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga computers. Soon enough, he developed a passion for video game music and became especially fond of Chris Huelsbeck’s works on the Turrican series.[9] Böcker’s love for both video game music and Classical artists would soon come together, as he realised the potential for scores and concerts to feature orchestral game music.[10]

Concert productions[edit]

In 2003, Thomas Böcker produced the opening ceremony of the Leipzig Games Convention with the First Symphonic Game Music Concert. The event at the sold-out Gewandhaus concert hall was the first of its kind outside Japan and received ten minutes of standing ovations.[11] His annual follow-up concerts gained even more popular and critical appraise with their numerous innovations, expansive programs, refined performances, and special guest appearances. In conjunction with this work, he brought orchestral game music around the world with leading roles on the highly successful concert tours PLAY! A Video Game Symphony and Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy.[12] He also inspired the use of game music for educational purposes, through creating the series of school concerts Heroes of our Imagination in 2006, with Super Mario Galaxy – A Musical Adventure being its latest instalment in 2010.[13]

Thomas Böcker has since developed a long-standing relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and WDR Radio Orchestra in Cologne. This culminated in the best-selling concert performances Symphonic Fantasies – music from Square Enix (2009, 2012), LEGENDS - music from Nintendo (2011) and the Final Symphony concerts (2013, 2015).[14][15][16] As a world's first, Böcker’s productions have been broadcast live to radio listeners worldwide by the WDR and have even been enjoyed internationally through live video streams.[17][18] In 2012, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed two Symphonic Fantasies concerts at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan concert hall in Tokyo, Japan, produced by Thomas Böcker, with more than 4,600 people in attendance.[19]

In May 2012, Thomas Böcker announced his tenth major concert production entitled Final Symphony, featuring music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X.[20] The world premiere of the performance took place on May 11, 2013 and was presented by the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal. Another performance of the concert took place on May 30, 2013: The first live performance of video game music by the London Symphony Orchestra.[21] Final Symphony had follow-up performances in Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. Final Symphony Tokyo was the first video game music concert ever to be greeted with standing ovations in Japan.[22]

In March 2015, Final Symphony II saw its first announcement.[23] Featuring music from Final Fantasy V, VIII, IX and XIII, the world premiere took place on August 29, 2015, presented by the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, followed by four performances in September and October 2015 by the London Symphony Orchestra in London, Osaka and twice in Yokohama.[24] The performances in Japan marked the first time a foreign orchestra ever performed a video game concert in Japan. Next to concerts in Germany, the UK and Japan, Final Symphony II also got presented in Finland and Sweden. Final Symphony and Final Symphony II mark Thomas Böcker's most successful concert productions to date.

Orchestra recordings[edit]

Beyond game music concerts, Thomas Böcker is the creative mind behind the Merregnon Trilogy, a series of albums that tell a fantasy story through music.[25] With their legendary composers, rich performances, and elaborate presentation, these albums have proved influential in East and West alike. Böcker has also accepted executive roles on numerous other album productions, including the Amiga’s Immortal series,[26] Masashi Hamauzu’s Vielen Dank[27] and Yoko Shimomura’s drammatica.[28] He has also supervised the studio recordings of the concerts Distant Worlds and Distant Worlds II.[29]

On December 13, 2014, Final Symphony the album was announced. Produced by Thomas Böcker, the album is based on the sell-out Final Symphony concert tour, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra in the presence of composer Nobuo Uematsu at Abbey Road Studios. Before the album's release part of it was broadcast by the UK radio station Classic FM.[30]

Thomas Böcker has been extensively involved in studio recordings of game music scores. He has attended the recording sessions of numerous Eastern and Western game scores. In addition, his own artists at Merregnon Studios have been commissioned to compose and arrange for titles such as THQ’s S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Namco Bandai’s Mobile Suit Gundam Battlefield Record U.C. 0081 and Mobile Suit Gundam: Side Stories, Sega’s World Club Championship Football [31] and Capcom's Dragon's Dogma.[32]

The producer currently represents Merregnon Studios' award winning composer and arranger Jonne Valtonen on a range of score and concert productions.

Major concerts[edit]

  • 2016 Final Symphony II Stockholm (performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2016 Final Symphony Amsterdam (performed by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2016 Final Symphony II Tampere (performed by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2015 Final Symphony II Yokohama (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2015 Final Symphony II Osaka (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2015 Final Symphony II London (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2015 Final Symphony II — music from Final Fantasy V, VIII, IX and XIII (performed by the Beethoven Orchester Bonn)
  • 2014 Final Symphony Tampere (performed by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2014 Symphonic Legends London — music from The Legend of Zelda (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2014 Final Symphony Stockholm (performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2014 Final Symphony Aarhus (performed by the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2014 Final Symphony Tokyo (performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2013 Symphonic Selections — Japanese Video Game Music (WDR concert)
  • 2013 Final Symphony London (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra)
  • 2013 Final Symphony — music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X (performed by the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal)
  • 2012 Symphonic Fantasies Stockholm — music from Square Enix (performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2012 Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo — music from Square Enix (performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2011 Symphonic Odysseys — Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu (WDR concert)
  • 2011 LEGENDS — music from Nintendo (performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2010 Symphonic Legends — music from Nintendo (WDR concert)
  • 2009 Symphonic Fantasies — music from Square Enix (WDR concert)
  • 2008 Symphonic Shades — Hülsbeck in concert (WDR concert)
  • 2007 Fifth Symphonic Game Music Concert (Opening Ceremony of the Games Convention)
  • 2006 Fourth Symphonic Game Music Concert (Opening Ceremony of the Games Convention)
  • 2005 Third Symphonic Game Music Concert (Opening Ceremony of the Games Convention)
  • 2004 Second Symphonic Game Music Concert (Opening Ceremony of the Games Convention)
  • 2003 First Symphonic Game Music Concert (Opening Ceremony of the Games Convention)

Consultation[edit]

  • 2015 Video Game Music in Concert (concert of the State Philharmonic Nuremberg)
  • 2014 Music in Motion (WDR concert)
  • 2013 Symphonic Selections — Japanese Video Game Music (WDR concert)
  • 2012 Soundtrack_Cologne - East meets West (WDR concert dedicated to Eastern and Western video game music)
  • 2012 Symphonic Fantasies — music from Square Enix (WDR concert dedicated to the music of Square Enix)
  • 2011 Computerspiel-Sounds live in concert (Bayer Philharmonic youth concert)
  • 2010 Benyamin Nuss Plays Uematsu (Solo piano album, Deutsche Grammophon)
  • 2010 Super Mario Galaxy — A Musical Adventure (school concert tour featuring music from Super Mario Galaxy)
  • 2009 Sinfonia Drammatica (concert of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra dedicated to Yoko Shimomura and Chris Huelsbeck)
  • 2008 PROMS: That's Sound, That's Rhythm (WDR crossover concert, classic and video game music)
  • 2007 Distant Worlds — music from Final Fantasy (world tour featuring Final Fantasy music, consultant until 2011)
  • 2006 PLAY! A Video Game Symphony (world tour featuring video game music, consultant until 2007)
  • 2006 Chamber Music Game Concert (Opening Concert of Nintendo exhibition)
  • 2006 Heroes of our Imagination (school concert tour featuring video game music and classical music)

Recordings[edit]

  • 2015 Final Symphony — music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X (Merregnon Studios/Square Enix/X5 Music Group)
  • 2012 Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo (live concert album, Merregnon Studios/Square Enix)
  • 2010 Symphonic Fantasies — music from Square Enix (live concert album, Decca Records/Square Enix)
  • 2010 Distant Worlds II: more music from Final Fantasy (AWR Music/Square Enix)
  • 2008 Symphonic Shades — Hülsbeck in concert (live concert album, Merregnon Studios)
  • 2008 drammatica — Yoko Shimomura (Square Enix)
  • 2007 Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy (AWR Music/Square Enix)
  • 2007 Derby Owners Club 2008 Feel The Rush (Sega)
  • 2007 Vielen Dank — Masashi Hamauzu (Square Enix)
  • 2007 World Club Championship Football (Sega)
  • 2005 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (THQ)
  • 2002 Merregnon - Volume 2 (Merregnon Studios)

Awards[edit]

  • 2015 Best Album - Arranged Album: Final Symphony - music from Final Fantasy, Annual Game Music Awards 2015[33]
  • 2015 Outstanding Entrepreneurship - Cultural and Creative Pilots Award, German Federal Government[34]
  • 2015 First person to produce a video game concert outside Japan: Thomas Böcker, Guinness World Records[35]
  • 2013 Outstanding Production - Concert: Final Symphony London - music from Final Fantasy, Annual Game Music Awards 2013[36]
  • 2012 Outstanding Production - Concert: Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo - music from Square Enix, Annual Game Music Awards 2012[37]
  • 2011 Outstanding Production – Concert: Symphonic Odysseys – Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu, Annual Game Music Awards 2011[38]
  • 2011 Best Live Concert: Symphonic Odysseys – Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu, Annual Original Sound Version Awards 2011[39]
  • 2011 Best Live Concert: Symphonic Legends – music from Nintendo, Annual Original Sound Version Awards 2010[40]
  • 2010 Best Arranged Album - Solo / Ensemble: Symphonic Fantasies - music from Square Enix, Annual Game Music Awards 2010[41]
  • 2010 Best Concert: Symphonic Legends - music from Nintendo, Swedish LEVEL magazine[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Personal website of Thomas Boecker, portfolio". ThomasBoecker.com. November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Auszeichnung für Symphonic Legends - music from Nintendo". VGMConcerts.com. November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Thomas Böcker (24 November 2003). "The Making Of The First Symphonic Game Music Concert In Europe". Gamasutra. Think Services. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  4. ^ Sophia Tong (9 September 2010). "Sound Byte: Symphonic Game Music Concerts". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Frederik Hanssen (20 September 2010). "Von der Konsole auf den Konzertflügel". Tagesspiegel. ZEIT. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Final Symphony". LSO. May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Thomas Böcker presented with national cultural award". Spielemusikkonzerte. November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  8. ^ polyneux. "Polyneux spricht, Volume 8 (Symphonic Edition)". Polyneux. Polyneux. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  9. ^ Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff. "BEHIND THE SCENES: Interview with Thomas Böcker". Distant Worlds. Distant Worlds. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Chris Greening. "Thomas Boecker Interview: The Symphonic Game Music Concerts". Game Music Online. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Concerts". Symphonic Game Music Concerts. Merregnon Studios. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Chris Greening (January 2009). "Thomas Boecker Interview: Producing Symphonic Fantasies". Game Music Online. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "School concerts featuring video game music announced". Symphonic Game Music Concerts. Merregnon Studios. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  14. ^ Steven A. Kennedy (13 January 2009). "Symphonic Shades (Review)". Music 4 Games. Music4Games, Inc. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  15. ^ Zac Bentz (2 January 2009). "Destructoid music review: Symphonic Shades". Destructoid. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Winfried Fechner Interview: Game Music Concerts at the WDR Radio Orchestra". Game Music Online. March 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Symphonic Shades live im Radio". SymphonicShades.com. Merregnon Studios. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Live Broadcast of Symphonic Fantasies". VGMConcerts.com. Merregnon Studios. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Aufführung in Tokio". 4Players.de. October 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Thomas Boecker Interview: The Final Symphony". Game Music Online. May 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Final Symphony". Merregnon Studios. May 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "Latest impressions from Japan: with Final Symphony Tokyo". Spielemusikkonzerte.de. May 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Final Symphony-Konzerttour kehrt nach London zurück". Spielemusikkonzerte. March 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "London Symphony Orchestra mit Final Symphony II in Japan". Spielemusikkonzerte. May 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  25. ^ "The Merregnon - Administration". Merregnon Studios. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  26. ^ "Immortal 2". VGMDB. March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  27. ^ "Vielen Dank". VGMDB. March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  28. ^ "drammatica". VGMDB. March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  29. ^ "Thomas Boecker Interview: Recollecting Symphonic Fantasies". Game Music Online. December 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Nobuo Uematsu heads to Abbey Road to record Final Symphony". Spielemusikkonzerte. December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "MUSA team various credits". MUSA. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  32. ^ "Orchestrating a Masterpiece - The Music of Dragon's Dogma". Capcom. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "Annual Game Music Awards 2015 – Albums of the Year". Game Music Online. February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  34. ^ "Thomas Böcker presented with national cultural award". Spielemusikkonzerte. November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  35. ^ "Final Symphony II’s London show proves to be a record breaking night". VGMConcerts.com. September 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  36. ^ "Annual Game Music Awards 2013 :: Organisations of the Year". Game Music Online. April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  37. ^ "Annual Game Music Awards 2012 Winners". Game Music Online. January 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Annual Game Music Awards of 2011 :: Outstanding Production – Concert Winners". Game Music Online. December 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  39. ^ "3rd Annual OSVOSTOTY 2011 Awards: Winners and Runners-Up Announced". Original Sound Version. February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  40. ^ "2nd Annual OSVOSTOTY 2010 Awards: Winners and Runners-Up Announced". Original Sound Version. January 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  41. ^ "Annual Game Music Awards of 2010 :: Best Album Winners". Game Music Online. December 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Thomas Böcker's official website, [1]
  • Symphonic Game Music Concerts website, [2]