SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - One group of South Bay performers is getting an early start on so-called “Star Wars Day,” which is routinely celebrated May 4. This weekend, Symphony Silicon Valley will perform the score from the first installment of George Lucas’ famous movie franchise. A series of shows will take place inside the Center for Performing Arts, with the 90-piece orchestra playing as Episode IV, “A New Hope,” is projected onto a large screen.
In July of 2018, the San Francisco Symphony put on a similar performance, playing the score to “A New Hope,” over four nights at the Davies Symphony Hall. Back in 1977, composer John Williams penned the original score, which secured his moniker of “maestro.” That first Star Wars movie was nominated for 11 Oscars – taking home seven statues.
Symphony Silicon Valley conductor Jeffrey Schindler says the series of performances is taking place now, as opposed to early May, to accommodate schedule concerns of both the Center for the Performing Arts, and the orchestra members. He says it’s incredibly difficult to match the musical score to the action on the screen, especially for a movie such as Star Wars. He says “A New Hope” is his favorite Star Wars movie musically, because when it was released, the music was groundbreaking, and marked a return to old Hollywood grand symphonic movie schools of the 1940s and 50s. He says it’s challenging for the orchestra members to play an entire movie score in one sitting, as opposed to the piecemeal approach that’s used in movie production and post-production.
Four shows are scheduled for this weekend, The first performance is Friday at 7:30pm. The orchestra takes this stage twice on Saturday – the matinee is at 2:30pm, and then the evening performance at 7:30pm. There is another matinee Sunday, but curtain time is at 1:30pm. The Center for Performing Arts box office has ticket pricing information.