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Darth Vader's Ipod

The orchestra offers a program of movie music.

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Loras John Schissel conducts the Blossom Festival Orchestra tonight in a program that includes John Williams' familiar music from the Star Wars movies and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Also on tap are lesser-known scores from Schindler's List and the Harry Potter flicks. The set also features tunes by old-school film composers Franz Waxman (Prince Valiant) and David Raksin (Laura), plus music from fan favorite Carousel. "People think of Star Wars as a lone phenomenon, but really, it's part of a continuum," says Schissel. "Williams is huge on the list. But he's there alongside many other great film composers."

Still, despite the accolades and the huge crowds this annual tribute always draws, Schissel says, he's a rarity in classical-music circles: a conductor who actually enjoys movie music. "Sometimes I feel like I'm the only conductor who really cares about this music," he sighs. However, strip the scores of their visuals, and you're left with a symphony. "It's like Wagner."
Sat., July 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., July 30, 7 p.m.

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