RED BANK: NJSO IN THE TEMPLE OF TUNES

raiders-of-the-lost-ark-chamberTwo globe-trotting adventurers — the legendary Indiana Jones (above), and genuine living legend Pinchas Zukerman (below) — team up with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for a pair of upcoming events at the Count Basie. 

pinchas-zukermanCarrying a decades-long beautiful relationship with the Count Basie Theatre into a new calendar year, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra returns to Red Bank twice in the wintry nights ahead — once as the grand accompanists to a seemingly ageless cinematic spectacle of treasure hunting, and again in the company of an “international treasure” guest artist and conductor.

Even if you’ve seen it anywhere from one to a thousand-and-one times (and the jury’s still out as to which dedicated uber-fan has logged more lifetime hours in its thrall), you’ve probably never experienced Raiders of the Lost Ark like you will on Friday, January 6, when conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos and the NJSO perform a live, full-orchestra accompaniment to the 1981 franchise film as it plays on the big Basie screen.

A powerful (and profitable) collaboration between moguls-in-the-making George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, this first (and, let’s be frank here, greatest) escapade of the dashing archaeologist Indiana Jones represented another milestone in one of the most enduring collaborations in cinematic history: that of both filmmakers with John Williams. The superstar composer, who contributed so much to the success of Jaws, Star Wars and many others, brought a heaping helping of movie magic to his evocative Raiders score — and for Friday night’s feature, Kitsopoulos and company will fill Count Basie’s Temple of Tunes with real-time renditions of Indy’s triumphantly trumpeting fanfare, the awesome Ark motif, the romantic “Marion’s Theme” and more. Take it here for tickets ($23 – $83) to the 8 p.m. program.

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On Saturday night, January 14, the NJ Symphony brings its annual Winter Festival offering to the Basie stage for an evening headlined by a Grammy winning classical star whose performance skills and influence have spanned the continents and the decades — Israeli-born violinist Pinchas Zukerman.

Serving as special guest soloist, conductor and artistic director of the NJSO’s seasonal slate of activities, Zukerman “captivates with both bow and baton” as the spotlight attraction of Saturday’s “Zukerman Plays Tchaikovsky” program. It’s an onstage component of a relationship that also finds the 68-year old veteran arts mentor maintaining a residency with the NJSO’s education and community engagement programs.

As the name suggests, the 8 p.m. concert pays special tribute to the works of P.I. Tchaikovsky, the Russian master whose roots in the chilly land of his birth have gifted the season of Winter with some of its most beautifully evocative sonic signatures. On the bill are “Melodie” from Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher, as well as “Sérénade Mélancolique” and “Serenade for Stings” — with Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 added for good measure.

Take it here for tickets ($23 – $78) — then go here for details on more of the Count’s coming attractions for lovers of movies and music, including a Cinema Society screening of the acclaimed 2016 feature Moonlight (1/16); actor Charles Ross in his One Man Star Wars Trilogy (1/25); a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail introduced by none other than John Cleese (1/29), and the return of the NJSO on February 10 with a virtuosic valentine to Dancing and Romancing.

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