The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Gabriel Feltz, delivered on Sunday, July 2, an unforgettable spectacle at a grand outdoor concert held at Usce before an audience of approximately 20,000 people. For the first time ever in our region, the live performance of Disney’s Fantasia served as the crowning moment of the orchestra’s centennial celebration.
We have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time to be together with you in the open air once again. However, tonight’s concert holds exceptional significance as we celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the great Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra together! The Belgrade Philharmonic is much more than just an orchestra; it is a source of immense pride—a century-long friend. It has brought the world to Belgrade while placing our city at the center of the world. A century filled with pride, hard work, and indescribable joy of making music, said the BPO chief conductor Gabriel Feltz at the beginning of the concert, setting the stage for the performance of Disney’ Fantasia, featuring ten famous compositions accompanying the film.
It was the first-ever live performance of Disney’s Fantasia in our region, captivating all generations who enjoying the most beautiful, animated spectacle of all time with renowned classical masterpieces, performed live by the orchestra under a big screen. Numerous visitors, from babies to the oldest members of the community, were enchanted by the atmosphere in a picnic-like ambiance, showering the orchestra and conductor with thunderous applause. Feltz expertly conducted a symphony of 105 musicians of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, as numerous teams participated in the event’s realization, supported by the City of Belgrade.
The Belgrade Philharmonic was granted the right to present and perform this sensational production—a high-definition projection that combines the original Walt Disney film Fantasia from 1940, and the film Fantasia 2000, which has never been officially shown in the region. The concert commenced with captivating sounds of Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5 from Fantasia 2000, seamlessly transitioning into segments from the original Disney film, including Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, an excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and a special treat—Debussy’s Clair de Lune —with an animated sequence that was omitted from the original 1940 Fantasia.
The Philharmonic then continued with the performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird with a unique animation from Fantasia 2000. This was followed by the mesmerizing ballet of ostriches and baby hippos from Dance of the Hours by Ponchielli, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas, featuring the iconic battle between Mickey Mouse and the mischievous brooms – a pivotal moment that led to the creation of this monumental cinematic masterpiece. The concert reached its grand finale with scenes from the new version of Fantasia, accompanied by compositions such as Pomp and Circumstance by Elgar, The Pines of Rome by Respighi, and Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns.