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California Symphony joins forces with ‘Star Wars’ soundtrack

Music purists may scoff at the film scores of American composer-conductor John Williams. But really, what’s not to like? A five-time Academy Award-winner, he turns out music that is tuneful, dramatic, steeped in classical traditions — and, when paired with films such as George Lucas’ “Star Wars,” thrillingly memorable.
In recent years, bolstered by developments in high-tech screening, orchestras across the country have dedicated entire programs to Williams’ iconic scores — just as conductors from earlier eras celebrated film music by George Gershwin, Bernard Herrmann and other composers.
This weekend, the California Symphony under music director Donato Cabrera pays tribute to Williams with a concert showcasing some of the exuberant earworms embedded in the composer’s high-profile scores.
In performances Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, at the Lesher Center, the Blackhawk Chorus is the Symphony’s special guest, joining Cabrera and the orchestra in music from “Star Wars” battle scenes. Excerpts from Williams scores for “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial,” “Superman,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” complete the program.
Details: 8 p.m. March 16, 4 p.m. March 17, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek; $42-$87; 925-943-7469, .

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