The opening of Cape Ann Symphony’s 68th season this weekend will be a blockbuster.
The orchestra, which performs in both Manchester-by-the-Sea and Ipswich, presents “Classics and the Movies,” brimming with the musical scores of famous films, both classic and contemporary.
The program includes Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” used in Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning “Apocalypse Now”; Sergei Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kijé”; Miklós Rózsa’s “Ben Hur Suite”; Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood Suite”; and John Williams’ “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Star Wars.”
The season opener also introduces Cape Ann Symphony’s new concertmaster, violinist David Rubin, of Salem, in his inaugural concerts on Saturday and Sunday. He replaces Alan Hawrulyk, also of Salem.
Maestro Yoichi Udagawa said that the organization is thrilled to have Rubin as the next concertmaster.
“He is an amazing violinist who plays beautifully and makes music with an incredibly poetic imagination,” Udagawa said. “We are all looking forward to working together to make great music.”
Rubin studied at the Boston Conservatory, Lawrence University and Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
He is both a performer and educator. He currently holds an assistant principal chair with the New Bedford Symphony. He also has performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Portland Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Emmanuel Music, as well as held orchestra fellowships with the Lucerne Festival Academy and Spoleto Festival.
Udagawa said that he is looking forward to showcasing classics that originated in Hollywood.
“When I was a student, the music of the movies was not that well-regarded in classical music circles,” the conductor said. “That has fortunately changed almost 100 percent, as people have come to realize that there have been some amazing composers who wrote some incredible music to be used in films.
“There is such an exciting world of different moods, feelings and emotions that are contained in this music,” he said.
Korngold, who started writing original music at age 7 and wrote the scores for 16 Hollywood films, is one composer whose influence continues to be felt six decades after his death.
“Someone once said to the famous English conductor/composer Andre Previn that, ‘Korngold’s music sounds like Hollywood.’ And Previn replied: Oh, no — Hollywood sounds like Korngold,’” Udagawa said. “I know the audience and those of us onstage will be thrilled and moved to hear and experience all this music.”
Perhaps the most widely recognized music in this weekend’s lineup is that of Williams, who is also a conductor and pianist and has a career spanning more than 60 years. His compositions are both classical works and film scores for “out-of-this-world” creations such as “Star Wars” and other intergalactic subjects.
Rósza may be best known for the music he composed for “Ben-Hur,” a film released in 1959. The soundtrack remains popular, with its most recent recording released in 2017.
The music of German composer Wagner was resurrected when it became part of the music for “Apocalypse Now,” which features his “Ride of the Valkyries.” Among his most popular compositions, it is also the prelude to the third act of his opera “Die Walküre.”
Another selection features “Lieutenant Kijé,” from the 1934 Soviet comedy about a fictitious soldier in Emperor Paul I’s army. It was the first of eight film scores written by Prokofiev, a pianist and composer.
Ipswich’s Susanne Powers, the orchestra manager, is eager for the season opener.
“Sometimes the most gorgeous music written for symphonic orchestra is right in front of our eyes — literally,” she said. “Classics from the movies opens our season with a bang. And how fitting to honor Maestro Udagawa’s 20th anniversary with the Cape Ann Symphony with a concert that is charismatic and tremendous fun, just like he is.”
If you go
What: Cape Ann Symphony presents “Classics and the Movies”
When and where: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Manchester Essex High School, 36 Lincoln St., Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Sunday, 2 p.m., Dolan Performing Arts Center, Ipswich High School, 134 High St., Ipswich. Maestro Yoichi Udagawa will hold a pre-concert talk at 6:50 p.m. on Saturday and 1:10 p.m. on Sunday.
How much: $43 for adults, $38 for seniors, $15 for students of any age with valid ID, and $5 for youths 12 and under
More information: 978-281-0543 or www.capeannsymphony.org