‘Star Wars’ bandleader Anthony Parnther makes his Carnegie Hall All-Black debut

Driver Anthony Parther is heading from a galaxy far, far away to Carnegie Hall!

The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, who noted that Parnther has conducted music for several live-action Disney+ “Star Wars” shows, such as “The Mandalorian”, “The Book of Boba Fett” and the upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which will release its first two episodes on Friday, May 27, to coincide with Star Wars Celebration 2022 in Anaheim, CA.

This time Partner will conduct the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra in a compilation of works by composers George Walker, Florence Price and Jon Batiste.

Anthony Parnther has a long history with ‘Star Wars’ music

Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

Parnther also plays bassoon and will show off his musical talents in the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series soundtrack.

Parnther is a huge bassoon fan and believes he made a guest appearance on “A New Hope” in 1977 in the Mos Eisley cantina band of Tatooine.

“I think it was played in the cantina band,” Parnther told the outlet. “It’s an instrument that looks more like a bassoon.”

Conductor Anthony Parnther
Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

However, that’s not the only time “Star Wars” fans have heard of his bassoon skills. Parnther also played bassoon on the scores for the final film in the Skywalker saga, “The Rise of Skywalker” (by John Williams), “Rogue One” (by Michael Giacchino) and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (by John Powell).

He also conducted Ludwig Göransson’s score for the hit Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” and the music for its spin-off show, “The Book of Boba Fett.”

Anthony Parnther says he was ‘obsessed’ with ‘Star Wars’ growing up

Conductor Anthony Parnther
Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

Partner recalled that he became “obsessed” with movies growing up in Lynchburg, Virginia in the 80s and 90s.

“I had quite an affiliation with Star Wars,” Parnther admitted.

He explained that he was a first-generation American son of a Jamaican father and a Samoan mother, who eventually studied music and Northwestern and Yale.

On April 24, Parnther will make his Carnegie Hall debut as guest conductor of the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra following the death of Michael Morgan in August 2021.

‘…there is a myth that there is a lack of qualified black classical musicians’

Conductor Anthony Parnther
Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

The Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, which was founded in 1993, is made up entirely of black musicians, who are often underrepresented in classical music.

Parnther explained that “there is a myth that there is a lack of qualified black classical musicians. And I can tell you that the lack is not in the availability of qualified musicians. The lack is in the platform or access to institutions for these musicians to flourish.

He continued, “We represent so few working professional classical musicians that, you know, I’m often almost always the only person of color — from an underrepresented minority, anyway — in the room. And I think that’s true for the vast majority of people who will be part of the Gateways Orchestra.

“So it’s a safe space where a whole community of musicians who have very specific things in common culturally and life experiences can come together and make this beautiful music and share the beauty,” he said. added.

Anthony Parnther Discusses the Differences in Making Hollywood Scores

Conductor Anthony Parnther
Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

Asked about the differences between conducting a Hollywood score and conducting a symphony orchestra, Parnther had a ready answer.

“Well, the main difference – usually, not always – is that when I’m directing film music, the composer is usually 20 feet away. And alive,” he joked.

“But they are very different responsibilities,” he explained. “I treat every day differently: today my responsibility is to Ludwig Goransson [composer of the Mandalorian and Turning Red, among many other scores]. And then the next day, my responsibility is to Ludwig von Beethoven.

Conductor Anthony Parnther
Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

“Actually, I just found this,” he added. “I feel smart enough for it. The two most famous Ludwigs!

He continued: “I don’t think that, even if I conduct the music of Beethoven or Mozart, it is my job as a conductor to take liberties. I have a very strict sense of it.

“It’s my job as a conductor to bring the composer’s intentions to life,” he explained. “Now I know there are other conductors who want to make their own mark, but I don’t really agree with that. I really believe that if I look at the score, most answers are found in what the composer wrote.

Instagram / Anthony_Parnther
Instagram / Anthony_Parnther

“Of course, that’s not always the case,” he admitted. “There are places where you really have to know what the intent was at the time and things along those lines, but most of the answers are in the scoring and it’s my job to realize what’s been written. “


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