DSO presents Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY, June 29

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY features music from throughout the acclaimed series of games, with conductor Arnie Roth and vocalist Susan Calloway, plus a full chorus

Tickets on sale April 12 at dso.org

Detroit, (April 10, 2023) - The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will present Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY, the official FINAL FANTASY symphony orchestra concert on tour featuring music from across the acclaimed series of games, led by Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth and vocalist Susan Calloway on June 29 at Orchestra Hall. This program is presented by AWR Music Productions

In this special program, more than 100 musicians will gather on the Orchestra Hall stage to perform the beloved music of Nobuo Uematsu and others, including a special performance by original FINAL FANTASY XIV vocalist Susan Calloway. With HD video from game developers SQUARE ENIX projected onto giant screens throughout the concert, Distant Worlds performs a diverse and constantly expanding repertoire of classic FINAL FANTASY music from throughout the 35+ years of the game series. This experience is a unique and sensational multimedia concert that has delighted audiences across the globe.

All associated trademarks are owned by and used under license from SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD. © 2021 SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY will take place Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall.

2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.

Tickets for this performance go on sale on April 12 and start at $59. They can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Orchestra Hall
Arnie Roth, conductor
Susan Calloway, vocalist
Grammy Award-winner Arnie Roth leads the Detroit Symphony orchestra and chorus—more than 100 musicians on stage performing the beloved music of Nobuo Uematsu and others, including a special performance by original FINAL FANTASY XIV vocalist Susan Calloway. With HD video from game developers SQUARE ENIX projected onto giant screens throughout the concerts, Distant Worlds performs a diverse and constantly expanding repertoire of classic FINAL FANTASY music from throughout the 35+ years of the game series. This unique and sensational multimedia concert experience delights audiences all around the globe!

All associated trademarks are owned by and used under license from SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD. © 2021 SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD. All Rights Reserved.


About Arnie Roth
A classically trained violinist, conductor, composer, producer and Grammy Award-winning artist, Arnie Roth performs across a wide array of musical genres. Roth has performed with a host of artists, including Il Divo, Diana Ross, Jewel, The Three Tenors, The Irish Tenors, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, Patrick Stewart, Branford Marsalis, Peter Cetera, and Andrea Bocelli. He is also a long-time member of the Grammy Award-winning group Mannheim Steamroller. Orchestras that Roth has conducted include the London Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, BBC Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Joffrey Ballet, Ravinia Festival, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, and the Sydney Symphony. Roth brought critical acclaim to the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra as music director and principal conductor showcasing artists including Michael Feinstein, Linda Eder, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Wynonna Judd, Judy Collins, the Beach Boys, and Johnny Mathis.  Under his direction the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra appeared in a nationally broadcast PBS Special featuring The Irish Tenors.

Roth was the music director and conductor of the national concert tour “Dear Friends: music from FINAL FANTASY.” In 2006, Roth conducted the new “VOICES: music from FINAL FANTASY” concert in Tokyo with the Tokyo Philharmonic. He then became the principal conductor and music director of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony featuring music from blockbuster video games such as FINAL FANTASY®, World of Warcraft®, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind™, Halo and Battlefield 1942™. As both producer and music director, Roth premiered Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY in December 2007 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in Sweden. The release of Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY, recorded by Roth and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, coincided with the start of the Distant Worlds international tour. Distant Worlds continues to thrill audiences around the globe with upcoming performances in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and has released 4 additional albums of FINAL FANTASY music, as well as several DVD concert experiences.

As music director, conductor, and arranger, Roth was involved in a number of PBS specials including: Charlotte Church: Enchantment - From Cardiff, Wales for Sony, The Irish Tenors: Heritage, the WTTW Soundstage shows featuring: Jewel, Peter Cetera and Symphony, An Evening with Dennis DeYoung, Lyle Lovett, Randy Newman, Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers, and WTTW’s Four Seasons in Chicago. In 2006 he was the music director and conductor for a ten-part television series for RTE featuring the Irish Tenors. He has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show many times, conducting Il Divo, and appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, and many more international television and radio broadcasts.

Roth’s talents extend into the area of film production and composition as well. He was commissioned by Gerald Arpino, founder and choreographer of the Joffrey Ballet, to write an original composition for a new Arpino ballet premiered in Chicago that he conducted. He produced and conducted music for the Robert Altman film The Company, and was theproducer, composer, conductor, and arranger for the CGI animated films from Mattel Entertainment: Barbie™ in The Nutcracker, Barbie™ as Rapunzel, Barbie™ of Swan Lake, Barbie™ in The Princess and the Pauper Movie, Barbie™ in The Magic of Pegasus, Barbie™ Sings! Princess Movie Collection CD, Barbie™ in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, Island Princess Barbie, Barbie™ and the Diamond Castle, and Barbie™ in A Christmas Carol. Roth won the Best Score Award at the 2003 DVD Premier Awards for his score for the film Barbie™ as Rapunzel and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007 for his original song “Shine” from the movie Barbie™ in The Twelve Dancing Princesses. 2007 also marked the premiere of Roth's first live concert creation with Mattel. Barbie™ at the Symphony is a special film with orchestra presentation of the best-selling Barbie™ Princess movies. This was followed by a second live concert production under license with Mattel, Barbie™ in the Nutcracker.

Roth has produced and conducted music for many films, and has produced dozens of best-selling albums, released on American Gramaphone, JVC, Mattel, Warner Bros., Sony, Koch, and Razor & Tie.

About Susan Calloway
Combine the big voice of Kelly Clarkson, the soulful power of Adele, and the magical tone of Sarah McLachlan, and you can start describing Susan Calloway. Every great artist has something that sets them apart from the crowd. For Calloway, it has always been her undeniable voice.

Calloway began studying classical piano at age 5, followed by classical voice at age 12, much earlier than most teachers would agree to take on a young singer. She was chosen as the lead in the Broadway musical Annie at age 9 but could not join the cast due to family complications.  Despite the family challenges, Calloway began writing and performing her own songs at school, church, and other local events. After graduating college with honors, she went on the road as the lead singer and main songwriter for popular Midwest band, Red C, of whom she was a founding member. After many road miles, music awards, and CDs sold, Calloway left the band to focus on her career as a solo artist. During this time, she also stumbled into a successful career as a session singer and freelance composer, which helped pay the bills for recording and developing her music. To date, her voice and songs have been featured on hundreds of national TV and radio campaigns.  

It was at one of these sessions that she met her first creative partner, Grammy Award-winning producer Gerard Smerek, known for his impressive arsenal of legendary clients, including Aretha Franklin, Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, and Gary Clark. It wasn't until meeting Smerek that Calloway really stepped into her own as a focused solo artist with a sound, style, and presence to be reckoned with. The title song of her first solo EP produced by Smerek, Chasin The Sun, climbed to #37 on national R&R charts, and continues to spin on Top 40, Hot AC, and Pandora radio. "Don't Fall in Love,” from the same EP, was nominated for a Hollywood Music & Media Award for Best Pop Song. Over the past few years, her songs have been placed on hit TV shows like Dawson’s Creek, Summerland, and One Tree Hill. Her most recent release, “Time For This,” co-produced by Smerek, won an LA Music Critic’s Choice Award for Best Song & Performance by an Indie Artist. “Time For This” was quickly an iTunes feature of the week and received stunning press reviews, most notably from the The Huffington Post.

As Calloway’s reputation as a recording artist grew, her voice caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning conductor Arnie Roth, and renowned FINAL FANTASY composer Nobuo Uematsu. Strongly believing her vocals would complement the music from Square Enix’s popular video game franchise, Nobuo himself requested that Calloway sing his new theme song for FINAL FANTASY XIV, “Answers,” which was released in 2013. After an overwhelming response from fans, Calloway was featured on the theme songs for FFXIV extension games: Heavensward, where she performs “Dragonsong,” and Stormblood, where she performs “Revolutions.” Currently FINAL FANTASY XIV has over 10.5 million monthly subscribers, all of whom listen to Calloway sing during gameplay.

In addition to the video game, Calloway is featured on four Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY albums to date. She is also a featured singer for the Distant Worlds: Music from FINAL FANTASY concert tour, performing sold out shows throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The incredible exposure from these opportunities has won Calloway thousands of fans around the world.

About the DSO
The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.

Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.

A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.