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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony to Perform live John Williams’ Memorable Score to One of the Best-Loved Films of our Time— “Raiders of the Lost Ark”—for Thrilling Night at the Movies

Orange County, Calif. — July 11, 2016


Back and better than ever before! Pacific Symphony takes audience members to the edge of their seats for the film that gave the world one of its greatest movie heroes—Indiana Jones! Relive the magic on the silver screen with the great original adventure, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” featuring Harrison Ford as the intrepid, renowned archaeologist and expert in the occult, with John Williams’ thrilling score to the full-length film performed live by the Symphony. The compelling storyline brings together a profound religious-archaeological icon, the Ark of the Covenant (basically a means for speaking to God) and the 20th century’s most infamous criminals, the Nazis. Internationally touring guest conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos joins the Symphony for this special 35th anniversary celebration screening of the iconic film.

The action-packed blockbuster takes place Saturday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m., and marks the third concert of the Symphony’s grand finale Summer Festival at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre before the venue closes (new location to be announced for 2017). Tickets are $25-$108. And new this year: the award-winning caterer 24 carrots is on site to serve up an all-new menu of delicious gourmet options, from simple to elaborate, for pre-concert dining. For more information or to purchase tickets or pre-order picnic boxes, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“In creating the character Indiana Jones, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg introduced an enduring and much-loved figure into the pantheon of fictional movie heroes,” says the legendary composer of the movie’s score, Williams. “ ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was illuminated by the superb comedy-action performance of Harrison Ford and enlivened by the spirited direction of Steven Spielberg. Speaking for myself, I must say that the experience of composing the music for this film, and for the subsequent installments in the series, was a very happy one, and offered me a wild and truly joyous ride.

“I’m especially delighted that the magnificent Pacific Symphony has agreed to perform the music in a live presentation of the movie,” continues Williams. “I know I speak for everyone connected with the making of the ‘Raiders’ in saying that we are greatly honored by this event… and I hope that the audience will experience some measure of the joy and fun we did when making the film 35 years ago.”

The film’s hair-raising moments are innumerable. Who could possibly forget Indy (Ford) running from the giant boulder in a cave? Or being confronted by a large, hissing cobra? Or brandishing his whip or pistol to take out bad guys and menacing forces? This wildly entertaining film is chock-full of grand spectacle—non-stop action, exotic locales, a hero for the ages, despicable villains, a beautiful love interest, humor, horror and lots of snakes.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” was the first, and considered by most to be the best, of the initial three Indiana Jones adventures. The movie was created by the dream team of Steven Spielberg (director) and George Lucas (co-writer and executive producer)—who essentially invented the box-office blockbuster with 1970s films like “Jaws” and “Star Wars.” Yet another huge success, the 1981 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” told the story of Indiana Jones, who is hired by the U.S. Government to find the Ark of the Covenant, believed to still hold the Ten Commandments—unfortunately, Hitler’s soldiers are also after it. Indy and his ex-flame, Marion, escape from various close calls in adventures from Nepal to Egypt on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Capturing it all with music is Williams, whose career spans five decades. He has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and concert stage, and remains one of our nation’s most distinguished musical voices. Williams has composed the music for more than 100 films, including all seven “Star Wars” films, the first three “Harry Potter” films, “Superman,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Home Alone” and “The Book Thief.”  His 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and successful films, including “Schindler’s List,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Lincoln”—in addition to all of the Indiana Jones movies.

Williams served as music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra for 14 seasons and remains their laureate conductor. He has composed numerous works for the concert stage including two symphonies, and concertos commissioned by many of America’s most prominent orchestras. He’s also composed themes for four Olympic Games. Williams has received five Academy Awards and 50 Oscar nominations (making him the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars), seven BAFTA Awards, 22 Grammys, four Golden Globes and five Emmys. In 2003, he received the Olympic Order (the IOC’s highest honor) for his contributions to the Olympic movement. In 2004, Williams received The Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2009 he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the U.S. Government.

Conducting the movie’s score for the Symphony is Maestro Kitsopoulos, who comfortably spans the worlds of opera and symphony and musical theater around the globe. Kitsopoulos conducts in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Royal Albert Hall, and for musical theater, where he can be found leading orchestras on Broadway. In his eighth year as music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, he also continues as general director of Chatham Opera (which he founded in 2005), serves as music director of the Festival of the Arts BOCA (a multi-day cultural arts event in South Florida), and was recently appointed artistic director of Oklahoma’s OK Mozart Festival.