Friday, January 24, 2014

Roving Pittsburgher Report - Hooray for Hollywood… Music!
A Review of the PSO’s Jan. 23rd 2014 Pops Concert

Hooray for Hollywood… Music! 
(photo source: PSO)
If ever you were thinking of dabbling your senses into the world of symphonic music, this would be the concert to do it. But don’t just dabble or dip your toes. Jump in! Take the plunge with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra into the chum filled, shark infested waters of Jaws. This movie music experience is a must-see blockbuster.

It’s not locked in a “Chamber of Secrets” (Harry Potter).  The fact that John Williams is a genius at composing dramatic, emotion-rich music for the big screen that whisks us away. His music has transported movie lovers from beautiful secluded islands overrun with dinosaurs, to the Black Hills of Wyoming and eerie close encounters; from galloping through the battle fields of World War I, to magical lands of wizards, sorcerers, and quiddich matches; and from lost treasure troves in the deserts of Egypt to the outer edges of deep space.

You know the music of John Williams. I’m positive you could even sing it. It’s iconic.  Surely you’ve interrupted a game of Marco Polo, with your hand above your head like a shark fin singing that suspenseful two note motive, Da Dum, Da Dum? Or wielded a light saber to “The Imperial March”?

PSO Resident Conductor
Lawrence Loh
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will recognize every piece in this concert. But in case you do need your movie memory jogged, fear not, because Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh is not your run of the mill orchestra conductor - he has clearly put in his popcorn time. He along with the talented members of the PSO bring to life some of the most memorable cinematic moments of the last 30 years with music from War Horse, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and even gears us up for the upcoming Winter Games with that hopeful spirit evoked by the Olympic Fanfare and Theme.

The powerful and moving music of John Williams takes the movie experience to new heights and leaves viewers with lasting memories. Didn’t you ever camp overnight in your backyard, snacking on Reese’s Pieces and gazing at the stars, wondering if you too could someday have your own ET friend that would zoom back into space to ? I have to think that the boyishly cute, thirty something guy in a dapper grey suit a few rows in front of me did. After intermission he brought back a bag of those tasty candies, which were featured in the 1982 movie, to share with his expecting wife.

The music of these movies has left a lasting impression in our hearts and memories. Taking a moment to look around at the audience Thursday night was like watching a groom watch his bride, as she walks down the aisle. Heinz Hall was filled with beaming smiles, the biggest and cutest smile maybe being that of Conductor Loh. This Olympic gold medal worthy concert is one you don’t want to miss. My review is to not miss this family-friendly Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Pops concert! It is FUN!!!

Additional Concert Times:
Friday, January 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:30 PM

By: Stephanie Curtice
Good News Reporter & Contributing Journalist
(c) 2013

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