It was all firing rockets, flashing light sabres and tooting old-fashioned French car horns in this sold-out concert of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Guns would have been blazing, too, except there was no music from westerns. But this was no garden-variety movie music concert; the program for CSO at the Cinema was far too intelligent and thoughtful for that.

For this concert the CSO was under the direction of guest conductor Jessica Gethin, who practically bounded onto the stage, almost as a prelude to what was to become an energised piece of showmanship and style throughout the performance.

Acclaimed for his science fiction film music, John Williams featured prominently, the concert opening with a suite from Star Wars. All the familiar themes were there, from the bold, expansive main theme, though the reflective Princess Leia’s Themeto the menacing Imperial March. After a slightly shaky start in the opening chords, the CSO quickly settled into an assured, compelling performance that drew applause and even whistling at the end of each movement.

Then it was Romance,...