Behind the Music

Enjoy audience favorites from the big screen, with music from Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lion King, Dunkirk and so much more! This collection of magical movie music is sure to delight as conductor Joshua Hong and your Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra perform some of the best-loved scores from John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Elton John and more. Buckle up in your seats and come along for the ride as we celebrate the season finale of our pops series!

Check out our special playlist, inspired by the program!


Richard Strauss (arr. J. Hong) Introduction from Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

John Williams Star Wars Saga, movements 4-5

John Williams The Force Awakens

Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings, featured in Platoon (1986)

John Williams (arr. Brubaker) Harry Potter Symphonic Suite

Elton John/Hans Zimmer (arr. Custer) selections from The Lion King

Edward Elgar Enigma Variations, Mvt. IX ‘Nimrod’, featured in Dunkirk (2017)

Richard Wagner (arr. Ryden) Ride of the Valkyries, featured in Apocalypse Now (1979)

John Williams ‘Flying Theme’ from E.T.

Joshua Hong, conductor

Please note that there is no pre-concert talk prior to this performance

Joshua Hong, conductor


A two-time recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Joshua Hong graduated in 2020 from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studied under Larry Rachleff. At Rice, Joshua served as Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra and appeared in performance regularly with the Shepherd School Orchestras. He previously served as Music Director of the Baltimore-based Occasional Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. His performances have been described as “supple, buoyant… sensitively conducted” (Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun).

Highlights of this season include appearances with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Flint Symphony Orchestra. This past summer, Joshua attended the Chautauqua Institution’s School of Music as the David Effron Conducting Fellow. At Chautauqua, he assisted Timothy Muffitt and led the Festival Orchestra in performances of works by Ligeti, Rossini, Stravinsky, and Weber.

In November 2019, Joshua guest conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in two education concerts. He has served as cover conductor for three classical subscription weeks in St. Louis and two subscription weeks with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Both organizations subsequently invited him to their most recent staff conductor auditions. He has also served as cover conductor with the San Diego Symphony. Joshua made his professional subscription debut with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra in the fall of 2017.

Joshua holds a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Peabody Conservatory, where he studied under Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar and served as Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Opera Theatre. In the summer of 2018, Joshua studied under Robert Spano as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has also been awarded conducting fellowships at the Atlantic Music Festival and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he led the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the world premiere of a work by Costas Dafnis.

Joshua was a founding member of the Atlas String Quartet, winners of Peabody Conservatory’s Yale Gordon Chamber Fellowship and semi-finalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Joshua holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Masao Kawasaki.