WESTFIELD, NJ -- Epic Hollywood soundtracks by Wagner, Brahms and Bernstein are to be performed in their full symphonic glory by New Jersey Festival Orchestra in Westfield. Under the baton of Maestro David Wroe, with special guest virtuoso Stefan Milenkovich, NJFO will present a magnificent season finale celebration of these works on Saturday June 1 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church.

“Great movies would not be great without great music and this concert invites you to relive the passion, heartbreak, exultation and some thrilling, chilling experiences from three of the best,” commented Wroe.

The featured music will include Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, heard in “There Will Be Blood,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis as an oilman on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California's oil boom. Director Paul Thomas Anderson uses Brahms’ joyous Allegro giocoso to help say "We've struck it rich boys!” The emotion felt after finally tapping into big oil and business starts booming will be brought to life by internationally acclaimed guest violinist Stefan Milenkovich who returns to NJFO following rave reviews last season.

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Featured in John Boorman's epic film "Excalibur," also on the season finale agenda is Wagner’s Prelude from his monumental romantic opera Tristan and Isolde. This music is the “love theme” of Lancelot and Lady Guinevere that surges on the soundtrack at the moment Lancelot and Guinevere meet.

The concert concludes with Bernstein’s renowned Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, a magnificent collection of instrumental dance sections that we all know and love assembled from the Broadway musical (and Hollywood movie that starred Natalie Wood with voiceover by Marni Nixon!)

“I think this concert will be the dramatic high point of the NJFO season,” continued Wroe. “This outstanding music will leave you uplifted and refreshed. The haunting melodies capture deeply embedded emotions of the movies and, in the larger sense, demonstrate the art of cinema itself.”

“What’s more, we are thrilled to welcome back violinist Stefan Milenkovich. Many of you will remember Stefan’s talents as a virtuoso and master interpreter from last season. That he returns to perform with the Festival Orchestra is a highlight for us, and without a doubt, he will enthrall our audiences once again.”

The concert has been made possible through the generous support of the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and a new partnership with Atlantic Health System.  Mr. Milenkovich’s appearance has been made possible by The Jerome and Helene Dreskin Family Trust.


Music That Makes Hollywood takes place on June 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Westfield. Michael Rosin will give his free pre-concert lecture at 5.30pm at Atlantic Health Primary Care, 142 Central Avenue, Westfield. All ticket holders are welcome.

Tickets ($30-$76, students U18 $15) are available online at on www.njfestivalorchestra.org. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the box office (908) 232-9400.