Noteworthy musical news: Boston Pops spring season returns

BOSTON (AP) — The music is back.

For the first time since the pandemic began, the Boston Pops is holding a spring season with live performances, the orchestra announced Thursday.

“The musicians of the Boston Pops Orchestra join me in expressing our sheer joy in presenting the upcoming Spring Pops season and welcoming back a live audience at Symphony Hall in 2022,” conductor Keith Lockhart said in a statement.

Reviving in-person concerts will return “the power and meaning of the live concert experience,” he said.

It’s the Pops’ first spring season since 2019, rekindling a tradition that dates to 1885.

This spring’s lineup will pay tribute to Pops conductor laureate John Williams, who turned 90 last month, including performances of Williams’ theme for the 1980 classic, “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.”

It opens on May 19 with works by composer Alan Menken, best known for “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” In June, concerts will highlight the music of jazz legend Duke Ellington, and the season will close with a night devoted to gospel.

Live performances were canceled for 2020 and most of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, though the Pops ventured briefly back to Symphony Hall in December for a holiday concert series.

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