On Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, the Cape Ann Symphony will open with “Classics in the Movies,” to be performed in Manchester-by-the-Sea and then Ipswich. At the two concerts, Cape Ann Symphony will present Eric Wolfgang Korngold's incredibly dramatic, gorgeous, not-to-be-missed “Robin Hood Suite,” among other compositions. 

When Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, the Nazis confiscated Eric Wolfgang Korngold's home in Vienna. "We thought of ourselves as Viennese; Hitler made us Jewish,” stated the composer.  A child prodigy, Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was an Austrian-born composer, conductor and noted pianist. At age 11, his ballet “Der Schneemann (The Snowman),” became a sensation in Vienna. At age 13, he wrote “Piano Sonata,” which was played throughout Europe. His one-act operas “Violanta” and “Der Ring des Polykrates” were premiered in Munich in 1916 and conducted by Bruno Walter. Many more successful compositions followed.

In 1934, due to the rise of the Nazi regime and at the request of director Max Reinhardt, Korngold moved his family to the U.S. to write music for films. These included “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” 1935 and “Anthony Adverse,” 1936, which won an Oscar. Then, two years later, his score for “The Adventures of Robin Hood” received rave reviews and won another Oscar. That same year, in 1938, he and his family lost their home in Vienna to the Nazis. Composing the score for Robin Hood saved his life, he said.

In addition to Korngold’s beautiful compositions, the Cape Ann Symphony will also present these classics also heard in the movies: Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries,” Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kije Suite,” Rózsa’s “Ben Hur Suite,” and two Williams scores: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Star Wars.”

“Classics in the Movies” will be the 2019-2020 season opening of the Cape Ann Symphony —a season that also marks Yoichi Udagawa’s twentieth year as music director and conductor of the organization. Cape Ann Symphony has an exciting season planned, so come join them to hear beloved masterpieces. 

The first showing of “Classics and the Movies” will be held on September 28 at the Manchester-Essex Regional High School at 7:30 p.m. The following concert “Holiday Pops,” filled with joy and fun, will have performances at MERHS on November 30 and December 1. In 2020, the Cape Ann Symphony will perform “Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, & Lewin” (March 22 at MERHS) and end their season with a powerful concert featuring Blaise Déjardin, principal cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, “Brahms, Dvorak, & Déjardin” (May 16 and May 17 at MERHS).