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Westchester Philharmonic's Sperling Will Be Guest Conductor At Area Concert

Conductor Ted Sperling will lead the Greater Bridgeport Symphony through an evening of music from film Saturday in Bridgeport.
Conductor Ted Sperling will lead the Greater Bridgeport Symphony through an evening of music from film Saturday in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- For Ted Sperling, movies and music are an inseparable pair.

That’s why he’s excited his debut appearance as guest conductor of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony on Saturday will be “GBS Goes to the Movies,” a rollicking evening of familiar tunes forever tied to their connection to films.

“I think that we start to associate the music with the images and emotions we saw and felt when we heard the music in that context, and those associations become entwined with the music ever after,” said the veteran conductor and musician who now leads the Westchester Philharmonic.

“Music is usually used in highly emotional moments in movies, so it’s natural that we would recall those heightened emotions.”

Sperling is currently conducting both “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway and rehearsing for the national tour of “The King and I,” which he conducted at Lincoln Center Theater. He will conduct the Bridgeport concert in two distinct parts.

The first part of the evening will be devoted to the “real music” from which many movie scores were taken, such as Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony featured in “The King’s Speech” and Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which was used in Disney’s “Fantasia.”

It will also include Samuel Barber’s memorable “Adagio for Strings,” a work so evocative it has been used in “The Elephant Man,” “Platoon,” “Lorenzo’s Oil” and many other films.

The second half of the concert will feature music composed specifically for films, including John Williams’ soaring themes for “Star Wars” and “Schindler’s List,” Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” and Henry Mancini’s “The Pink Panther.”

Sperling is no stranger to the importance of music to a good story. He won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk awards for orchestration of “The Light in the Piazza,” for which he was also music director. His many other Broadway credits include “South Pacific,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “The Full Monty.” He was an original cast member of Broadway’s “Titanic,” playing bandleader Wallace Hartley.

GBS Executive Director Mark Halstead said he expects the program to resonate with listeners of all ages and should be especially kid-friendly.

“Imagine movies without music -- impossible!” he said. “Music in the movies becomes part of the story, part of the action.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are available at www.gbso.org or by calling 203-576-0263. Family discounted rates are available, including 15 percent off for parents/guardians, and kids under 19 can get tickets for $10.

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