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Newsroom

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert to feature iconic score performed live on film

Film Concert Series features composer John Williams’ score from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back performed live to picture by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos

Tickets go on sale to DSO subscribers tomorrow, May 4; tickets will be available to the general public at a later date

Detroit, (May 3, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will present STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK In Concert, featuring screenings of the complete film with Oscar®-winning composer John Williams’ musical score performed live. The concerts will be led by conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos.

Since the release of the first Star Wars movie more than 40 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 Star Wars film in a live symphonic concert experience, as STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK In Concert debuts Friday, September 27 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, September 28 at 2 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Tickets for STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK In Concert will go on sale tomorrow, May 4 to 2019-2020 DSO subscribers—including Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series subscribers, as well as current 2018-2019 William Davidson Neighborhood Series subscribers. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at a later date.

The concerts will take place just before the kickoff of the 2019-2020 DSO Classical Season and will help mark the beginning of the season-long centennial celebration of Orchestra Hall. Learn more about the entire season at dso.org.

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 Lucasfilm Ltd.

About John Williams

Legendary composer Williams is well known for scoring all eight of the Star Wars saga films, 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, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, each were nominated for an Academy Award.

Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe® Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy® Awards and 23 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 Star Wars 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).

About Constantine Kitsopoulos

Constantine Kitsopoulos has established himself as a dynamic conductor known for his ability to work in many different genres and settings. He is equally at home with opera, symphonic repertoire, film with live orchestra, music theatre, and composition. He currently serves as music director of the Festival of the Arts Boca and general director of Chatham Opera. He was recently appointed general director of the New York Grand Opera and is working with the company to bring opera, free and open to the public, back to Central Park in New York City.

Kitsopoulos has developed semi-staged productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Don Givanni, and La Bohème. On the Broadway stage, he was music director of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, Coram Boy, Swan Lake, and Les Misérables, among others. He was also music director and principal conductor of Baz Lurhmann’s La Bohème. Elsewhere in musical theater, he was music director of American Conservatory Theatre’s acclaimed production of Kurt Weill and Bertoldt Brecht’s Happy End; he has also made numerous appearances as guest conductor with Indiana University Opera Theatre, where he has conducted productions of Falstaff, Die Fledermaus, A View from the Bridge, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Most Happy Fella, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, The Music Man, and The Last Savage.

Also a composer, Kitsopoulos is music director/supervisor of Temple, with book and lyrics by Silvia Peto, music by Norman Durkee, and additional music, arrangements, and orchestrations by Kitsopoulos. Temple is currently under development and performed an acclaimed reading in at New York’s Signature Theatre in April 2017. Kitsopoulos is also working on the development of a new musical theater piece titled Alamo, as well as a chamber opera titled Holy Week.

Kitsopoulos studied piano with Marienka Michna, Chandler Gregg, Edward Edson, and Sophia Rosoff. He studied conducting with Semyon Bychkov, Sergiu Commissiona, Gustav Meier, and his principal teacher Vincent La Selva.

Ticket Information

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow, Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Currently, STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK In Concert is available only to 2019-2020 Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series subscribers, as well as current 2018-2019 William Davidson Neighborhood Series subscribers. Tickets will be on sale to the general public at a later date.

For information on purchasing a 2019-2020 subscription, visit dso.org/classical or dso.org/pops, or call the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

Subscribers can purchase tickets at dso.org, by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

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.   

About the DSO

The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.

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For Press Inquiries, please contact:

Ben Breuninger
Public Relations Coordinator
bbreuninger@dso.org | 313.576.5196