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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Perform THE MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS, 1/23-26

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Perform THE MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS, 1/23-26

Darth Vader stalking through the Death Star...Harry Potter and Indiana Jones dodging danger at every turn...E.T. finally going home. Composer John Williams has orchestrated some of Hollywood's most iconic and indelible movie scores and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra celebrates his musical accomplishments with the fourth PNC Pops concert, "The Music of John Williams," on Jan. 23-26, 2014.

Led by Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh, the Pittsburgh Symphony will take the audience on a whirlwind tour through Williams's movie magic, from "Star Wars" to "E.T." to "Jaws" (and everything in between). The concert kicks off with the stirring "Olympic Fanfare," spreading the Olympic spirit through Heinz Hall. This concert, featuring solos from the Pittsburgh Symphony principal harp Gretchen Van Hoesen and principal contrabassoon James Rodgers, promises to be a thrilling ride through the unmistakable melodies of Williams' masterful movie music. Audiences can also expect some hijinks and fun from Loh, a self-admitted "fanboy" of Williams' movies and music.

"As a major fan, The Music of John Williams concert is a perfect opportunity for me to interact with the audience and have even more fun with my conducting," says Loh. "You may even see a well-known character leading a piece or two during the weekend!"

Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $21-99, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2013-2014 title sponsorship of PNC Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Loh is one of the most exciting young talents on the classical music scene today. He was brought to national attention in February 2004, when he substituted last-minute for an ailing Charles Dutoit with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Conducting Stravinsky's "Petrouchka" and Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," Loh received enthusiastic acclaim from orchestra players, audience members and critics, alike. Since his appointment as music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2005, the orchestra has flourished artistically, defining its reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. His leadership has attracted such artists as André Watts, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jon Nakamatsu, Zuill Bailey and Sharon Isbin.

John Williams is the winner of five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes, two Emmys and five BAFTA Awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Best known for his film scores and ceremonial music, Williams is also a noted composer of concert works and a renowned conductor. Williams' scores for such films as "Jaws," "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Schindler's List," as well as the Indiana Jones series, have won him multiple awards and produced best-selling recordings, and his scores for the original Star Wars trilogy transformed the landscape of Hollywood film music and became icons of American culture. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for nearly 80 films, including "Saving Private Ryan," "Amistad," "Seven Years in Tibet," "The Lost World,""Sleepers," "Nixon," "Sabrina," "Jurassic Park," "Home Alone," "Far and Away," "JFK," "Hook," "Born on the Fourth of July," "The Accidental Tourist," "Empire of the Sun," "The Witches of Eastwick," "Superman," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Jaws" and "Goodbye Mr. Chips." Williams has been awarded severAl Gold and platinum records, and his score for "Schindler's List" earned him both an Oscar and a Grammy. Williams was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended UCLA and studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, Williams returned to New York to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist, both in clubs and on recordings. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began his career in the film industry, working with such composers as Bernard Herrmann, AlfrEd Newman and Franz Waxman. In January 1980, Williams was named the 19th conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He assumed the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, following his retirement in December 1993, and currently holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood. Williams has written many concert pieces, including a symphony, a sinfonietta for wind ensemble, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1994, concertos for the flute and violin recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, concertos for the clarinet and tuba, and a trumpet concerto, which was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra and their principal trumpet Michael Sachs in September 1996. His bassoon concerto, "The Five Sacred Trees," which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic and principal bassoon player Judith LeClair in 1995, was recorded for Sony Classical by Williams with LeClair and the London Symphony. His most recent concert work "Seven for Luck" - for soprano and orchestra - is a seven-piece song cycle based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove.

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