With 2019 spring season, Boston Pops celebrates the past and looks to the future (bostonglobe.com)

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By Zoë Madonna GLOBE STAFF  FEBRUARY 21, 2019

A four-night residency by roots music polymath and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Rhiannon Giddens, a screening of “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” with live orchestra, high-flying acrobats, and the returns of Bernadette Peters and Leslie Odom Jr. are among the coming attractions in the Boston Pops’ spring season at Symphony Hall.

“Maybe we should have called it the ‘season without a theme,’ ” Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart jokes on the phone from his house on Cape Cod.

The season, which runs from May 8 to June 15, also features nods to the summer of 1969, including a Woodstock tribute with Arlo Guthrie and performances of James Beckel’s multimedia piece “From the Earth to the Moon and Beyond,” a Pops co-commission celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. But, says Lockhart, “sometimes we just try to look for the best things that we can slot in and not worry so much about trying to overarch it.”

One of those best things is Giddens, who tore up the Esplanade with her banjo, fiddle, and barefoot dancing at the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular last July Fourth. Heading up the “Redefining American Music” mini-festival, she’ll first join the Pops with her own band to play music from her albums (May 22-23). Then, she curates an homage to black composers of symphonic music including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Billy Strayhorn, in which she’ll perform with the Pops, singer Darius de Haas, and pianist Lara Downes (May 24-25).

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