“The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra played its first concerts of 2019 last weekend,” writes James C. Taylor in Thursday’s (1/10) Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ). “John Williams, always a popular draw, got first billing—but it was what was listed next that really drew the fans: ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert.’ Just about every seat in NJPAC’s Prudential Hall in Newark was filled on Saturday as Constantine Kitsopoulos led the NJSO through Williams’ Oscar-nominated score with [the film] playing on a big screen … The NJSO honored the score with enthusiastic playing. The horns belted the Wagnerian motifs and the strings provided a lush, old-Hollywood sweep—as well as the spikier, modern pizzicato sounds during the scenes in the gloomy Dagobah environment…. Many in the audience were in full ‘Star Wars’ costumes for the event… Regardless of why people came, the band delivered almost two straight hours of well-played, classical-style orchestra music…. A big ovation was given to Kitsopoulos and the band at intermission and after the final credits. Hopefully some of these fans will join the regulars who have tickets to hear the NJSO’s Winter Festival …  concerts … among the best the Jersey players offer each year.”

Click here to read more about John Williams and orchestras in the current issue of Symphony magazine.

Posted January 11, 2019