Happy 85th Birthday to John Williams!
[photo: Greg Weiner]
February 8 is the birthday of the world's most respected
John Towner Williams (born: 1932).
In addition to being a distinguished composer of classical and film music, he is also an accomplished pianist (featured on the PETER GUNN TV series) and songwriter ("Moonlight"), as well as conductor of the Boston Pops (now the Laureate Conductor) and he has conducted many other orchestras in the U.S. and Europe.
John Williams appeared in an Oscar-winning 1960 film as a pianist in one scene.
Do you want to know which film and which scene he appeared in?
John Williams as pianist
Over the years he has worked with many film directors but especially two of the most successful:
John Williams and Steven Spielberg
(photo: Murray Close)
George Lucas and John Williams
(photo: Peter Mason)
Above photos courtesy of this Sony Classical 2 CD set:
John Williams Greatest Hits 1969-1999
John Williams has also received more Sammy Film Music Awards than any other film composer and not just for popular scores like SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993), but also lesser known but also highly memorable scores, like THE TERMINAL (2004).
Thanks to all those fans who participated in the special John Williams web poll in 2007, for the 75th birthday of John Williams.
Several hundred votes were sent in for a wide variety of scores -- 52 film scores received at least one vote,
from THE REIVERS (1969)
to MUNICH (2005).
Here are the results of the Top Ten vote getters:
1. STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980)
2. STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE (1977)
SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (1978)
E.T.: The EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
JURASSIC PARK (1993)
6. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1979)
7. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
8. JAWS (1975)
9. HOOK (1991)
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
And the next 20 vote getters, listed alphabetically...
THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST (1988)
A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)
BORN OF THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989)
EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987)
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (2001)
HOME ALONE (1990)
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)
INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)
JANE EYRE (1970)
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (2005)
MINORITY REPORT (2002)
THE PATRIOT (2000)
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998)
STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (2002)
STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999)
STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983)
STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005)
WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005)
Many film score fans would probably pick STAR WARS or E.T. as their favorite John Williams score. But which one would the composer himself select as his favorite?
When John Williams was asked at a Boston Pops event I attended many years ago which of his many film scores he preferred, he thought for a moment, and
said he would pick his score to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.
And I agree with that choice since I believe it is his most accomplished film score, with modern contemporary classical rhythms, his ingenius 5 note theme, subtle use of the chorus, and his beautiful handling of the classic Disney tune, "When You Wish Upon A Star." The final portion of his film score is just mesmerizing in its beauty. A true classic film score!
It is my pleasure to celebrate the 85th birthday of John Williams here and wish him many more years of success with his music.
-- Roger Hall, Managing Editor
The 24th Annual Sammy Awards
Best New Film Score of 2011
Special Tribute CD
When once asked to name his favorite film score, John Williams said that though it would be difficult to choose just one he chose his score to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. You can hear excerpts from that landmark film score, plus selections from STAR WARS, SUPERMAN and other JW scores in a new specially prepared CD.
In honor of his 85th birthday, you can receive this CD titled, Film Music of John Williams on Radio, with over 70 minutes of highlights compiled by film music critic and Managing Editor of Film Music Review, Roger Hall.
The selections include excerpts from the first two John Williams concerts with his film music performed by the Boston Pops (1979-1980), a special birthday tribute by Roger
Hall on radio with several rare recordings of John Williams film music from the 1960s and 1970s,
and several Sammy Awards for John Williams announced on radio.
This CD is for non-commercial use only.
To receive the Film Music of John Williams on Radio CD,
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Film Music of John Williams on Radio
Also available separately:
John Williams Radio Tributes (AMRC 0021)
-- CLICK HERE
John Williams In Multimedia Guide
A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC: Songs and Scores
On the title page of this guide is a copy from the original E.T. score, boldly signed by John Williams. Also, a letter was received from John Williams about a radio tribute to him and the planned film music guide by Roger Hall.
When presented with a copy of A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC, he wrote this to author Roger Hall:
"Thank you for the copy of your film music book. Congratulations and best wishes for success in your future contributions to the film music literature."
-- John Williams
The expanded 4th edition of the Guide, including autographs by John Williams and other film composers and songwriters, is now available on a multimedia DVD with film music and video bonus features.
To order this guide -- CLICK HERE
Here are a few compilations with John Williams and the Boston Pops...
The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration
Williams on Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores
Music for Stage and Screen
More recommended CDs of both his classical and film music...
The Music of America - John Williams (3 CD set)
Best Of The Month For February 2011
Best Of The Month For January 2010
See the John Williams film music on the list of
100 Essential Film Scores of the 20th Century
For latest news about his music, see the
John Williams Fan Network
John Williams has received more
than any other composer
Sammy Film Music Awards
Other Film Composer Tributes
A Centennial Tribute to Ken Darby
Bernard Herrmann: A Centennial Tribute
Miklos Rozsa 100th Birthday Tribute
A Centennial Birthday Tribute to Franz Waxman