STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE IN CONCERT WITH THE ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Date: Jan 09, 2020
Allentown, PA, January 9, 2020 -- The Allentown Symphony Association (ASA) will present Star Wars: A New Hope In Concert, featuring a screening of the complete film with Oscar®-winning composer John Williams’ musical score performed live to the film on August 15, 2020 at 7:30 pm at the PPL Center. The Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will perform, led by guest conductor Lawrence Loh.
ASA Executive Director Al Jacobsen announced the event at a press conference today saying, “We are delighted that the ASO is returning to the PPL Center performing the legendary score to Star Wars: A New Hope in concert, live with the film. This will be a great opportunity for Star Wars fans of all ages to relive the film and experience it for the first time with a live orchestra.”
“This is a tremendous day for the Lehigh Valley Arts community, as we welcome the Allentown Symphony’s first ever ‘movies in concert’ production of Star Wars: A New Hope which will be held at the PPL Center,” added Senator Pat Browne. “Throughout the nation, ‘movies in concert’ have been a driving force in welcoming new, and reintroducing returning audiences, to the magic of the symphony experience. I am thrilled that the Allentown Symphony will have the opportunity to showcase their world-class talents by playing the score from one of the most iconic movies of all-time.”
Also commenting at the press conference was Rob Brooks, Owner of BDH Development and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. “We are thrilled to partner with the Allentown Symphony Association to bring this classic Star Wars film to life at PPL Center through this unique, live experience – never-before-seen in the Lehigh Valley.” Brooks added, “This Sunday, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will host our fifth annual Star Wars-themed hockey game at PPL Center. It has become a fan-favorite game each year and we are very excited to share this new event announcement with our fans.”
Since the release of the first Star Wars movie over 42 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.
Fans will be able to experience the scope and grandeur of this beloved film in a live symphonic concert when Star Wars: A New Hope debuts at the PPL Center with the ASO.
Tickets for Star Wars: A New Hope go on sale Wednesday, January 15 at 10:00 a.m. at PPLCenter.com, the QNB Box Office, and by phone at 610-347-TIXX . On Sunday, January 12, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will host a Star Wars-themed hockey game featuring special character appearances as they face off against the Dark Side (Cleveland Monsters). All fans in attendance will also receive exclusive presale access for Star Wars: A New Hope In Concert at the PPL Center.
Major support for the ASA is provided by Senator Pat Browne and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Legendary composer JOHN WILLIAMS is well known for scoring all nine of the Star Wars saga films to date, beginning with 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope for which he earned an Academy Award® for Best Original Score. His scores for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were each nominated for Best Original Score.
Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and 24 Grammy Awards. With 51 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the Academy’s most nominated living person and the second most-nominated individual in history, after Walt Disney. In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams' score to 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope as the greatest American film score of all time. The soundtrack to A New Hope also was preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry, for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame in 2000, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009, and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. Williams has composed the scores for eight of the top 20 highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office (adjusted for inflation).
The Star Wars: Film Concert Series is produced under license by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox and Warner/Chappell Music.
STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM
ABOUT THE ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION (ASA)/ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (ASO)
Operating the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO), El Sistema Lehigh Valley (ESLV) and owner/operator of Miller Symphony Hall, the ASA is one of the region’s premier arts organizations.
Each year, the ASO performs more than 20 classical, pops, educational, and family concerts. In 2014 and again in 2017, the orchestra received the national American Prize for “orchestral excellence.” With passion and finesse, the ASO, led by Music Director & Conductor Diane Wittry, plays time-honored masterworks, newly commissioned world premieres, and intriguing repertoire, including works by prominent new composers.
Exciting world-class artists that have performed with the ASO include Midori, Emanuel Ax, Angela Meade, and Peter Serkin, as well as jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and Broadway vocalist Christiane Noll. The orchestra’s classically trained musicians include players from the major urban centers of New York, Baltimore-D.C., and Philadelphia.
Music Director Diane Wittry, now in her 25th Season with the ASO, is known for her innovative programming style, using video, dancers, subtitles, and other visuals that give her concerts a sense of occasion. She has been a stellar advocate for music education outreach for all ages and skill levels. Lehigh Valley native Ron Demkee serves as the ASO’s Associate/Pops Conductor. The two previous ASO Music Directors were Donald Voorhees, the distinguished conductor of the studio orchestra for NBC’s Emmy-award-winning “The Bell Telephone Hour,” and William Smith, Assistant Conductor to the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy.
The ASO has received music commissioning grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, and from the League of American Orchestras in support of its El Sistema-inspired program for at-risk youth. The ASA also annually hosts the National Schadt String Competition which attracts top young performers from all over the world.
As it has for the last 69 years, the ASO continues its pursuit of excellence with passion, keeping alive the legacy of masterworks while bringing the works of modern masters to the concert stage for the entire community.
ABOUT LAWRENCE LOH, CONDUCTOR
Lawrence Loh, Music Director of Symphoria (Syracuse, NY), was named Music Director of the West Virginia Symphony commencing in the 2017-18 season. Mr. Loh concluded his 12-year tenure as Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2017. Mr. Loh had a decade-plus association with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra where he currently leads annual pops and other select programs.
Mr. Loh’s previous positions include: Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Syracuse Opera; Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra; Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Associate Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra.
Having an affinity for pops programming, Mr. Loh has been engaged for repeat performances with Chris Botti, Idina Menzel, Ann Hampton Callaway, the Texas Tenors and more. He has assisted John Williams on multiple occasions and conducted numerous sold-out John Williams tribute concerts. He is particularly adept at conducting concerts synchronizing live orchestral music with film, and he is having lead Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Pixar in Concert, Disney in Concert, The Wizard of Oz and Singin’ in the Rain, among other concert productions.
Mr. Loh is active as a guest conductor, both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to annual concerts in Pittsburgh and Dallas, his recent engagements include the Boston Pops (Tanglewood); Detroit Symphony; San Diego Symphony; Seattle Symphony; Buffalo Philharmonic; and the Cathedral Choral Society at the Washington National Cathedral. Past engagements include the National (Washington D.C.), Indianapolis, Tacoma, Utah, Naples, Knoxville, Florida, El Paso, San Luis Obispo, Edmonton, Colorado, Charleston (SC), Malaysia, Daejeon (South Korea) and Greater Bridgeport Orchestras. His summer appearances include the festivals of Sun Valley, Bravo Vail Valley, Aspen (CO), Mann Center in Philadelphia, Breckenridge, Las Vegas, Hot Springs (AR), the Kinhaven Music School (VT) and the Performing Arts Institute (PA). In the summer of 2016, he made his debut at Tanglewood, conducting Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra and returned in 2017 to conduct the Boston Pops.
Mr. Loh received his Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from Yale, his Masters in Choral Conducting from Indiana University and his BA, and Certificate of Management Studies, from the University of Rochester. Lawrence Loh was born in southern California of Korean parentage and raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Jennifer have a son, Charlie, and a daughter, Hilary. Follow him on instagram @conductorlarryloh or twitter @lawrenceloh or visit his website, http://www.lawrenceloh.org
ABOUT PPL CENTER
PPL Center (pplcenter.com) is a state-of-the-art multipurpose venue in downtown Allentown, PA. The arena seats more than 10,000 for concerts and more than 8,500 for Lehigh Valley Phantoms professional hockey games, making it the region's largest events venue. The amenities-packed PPL Center hosts more than 150 events each year, offering something for everyone, including the Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, live concerts, family shows, trade shows, figure skating events, youth sports, high school and collegiate events, Disney on Ice, conferences, graduations and many more events. PPL Center is currently the main catalyst to the revitalization and growth of downtown Allentown. Spectra provides the Venue Management, Food Services and Hospitality, and Partnerships divisions at PPL Center.
ABOUT DISNEY CONCERTS
Disney Concerts is the concert production and licensing division of Disney Music Group, the music arm of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Concerts produces concerts and tours, and licenses Disney music and visual content to symphony orchestras and presenters on a worldwide basis. Disney Concerts’ concert packages include a variety of formats, such as “live to picture” film concerts and themed instrumental and vocal compilation concerts and range from instrumental-only symphonic performances to multimedia productions featuring live vocalists and choir. Current titles include the Star Wars Film Concert Series (Episodes IV-VII), Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Fantasia, Pixar In Concert, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice In Wonderland, Frozen, Ratatouille, The Pirates of the Caribbean series (Episodes I-IV), and Silly Symphonies, which last year collectively accounted for over 400 performances in many of the world’s top concert venues, including Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Tokyo Forum and the Hollywood Bowl. Numerous new concert packages and touring productions from Disney’s portfolio of studios, including Disney’s feature animation and live action studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, are currently in development.