“The soundtracks to the best-selling ‘Final Fantasy’ video-game series have helped give rise to a new kind of orchestral experience,” writes Chris Gray in Monday’s (7/18) Houston Chronicle (TX). “It is, explains conductor Arnie Roth, a truly global audience. ‘We can put on the concert in Singapore or Sydney or New York or Chicago, L.A.,’ he says. ‘We’ve played Houston a few times.’ … Friday and Saturday … Roth and the Houston Symphony—and Houston Symphony Chorus—will revisit ‘Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy,’ one of several orchestral programs spun off the long-running franchise’s sprawling musical scores. (A 16th installment is due next summer.) Roth and his collaborators regularly rotate the selections to accommodate the truly massive amount of music under the ‘Final Fantasy’ umbrella…. The audience is seldom shy about voicing its approval. ‘They’re very beloved musical scores,’ … Roth says… The first public concert, entitled ‘Dear Friends: Music From Final Fantasy,’ was held in early 2005…. Roth says … musicians in the orchestras he’s worked with … come up to him after a ‘Final Fantasy’ concert and remark on how ‘they just could not believe the quality of the scores and the reaction of the audience,’ he says.”