Film Music Master: A Tribute to John Williams
[photo: Greg Weiner]
In addition to being a distinguished composer of classical and film music, he is also an accomplished pianist and songwriter, as well as conductor of the Boston Pops (now the Laureate Conductor) and he has conducted many other orchestras as well.
John Williams (then known as Johnny Williams) appeared in an Oscar-winning 1960 film as a pianist in one scene.
Do you know which film and which scene he appeared in?
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John Williams in 1960 film
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 received numerous awards over his long career, including these:
21 Grammys (59 nominations)
4 Golden Globes (22 nominations)
5 Oscars (50 Oscar nominations -- more than any other living film artist)
John Williams has also received more Sammy Film Music Awards than any other living film composer and not just for popular scores like SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993), but also lesser known but also highlly memorable scores, like WAR HORSE (2011). Here is the list of 12 Sammy Film Music Awards for recordings of his film scores and songs
between 1988 and 2014:
*THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, 1988
*BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1989
*"Somewhere In My Memory," from HOME ALONE,
*SCHINDLER'S LIST, 1993,
*"Moonlight" from SABRINA,
*SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, 1997
*SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, 1998
*A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE,
*THE TERMINAL, 2004
*MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, 2005
*WAR HORSE, 2011
*EMPIRE OF THE SUN (Restored, 2014)
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.
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)
Film Music Review is pleased to pay tribute to John Williams and wish him many more years of success with his music.
-- Roger Hall, Managing Editor
Special 80th Birthday 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 1977 film score, plus selections from STAR WARS, SUPERMAN and other scores in a new specially prepared CD in honor of his 80th birthday. You can receive this CD titled, Film Music of John Williams on Radio, with over an hour of highlights.
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 WGBH radio in Boston. This CD is for personal, non-commercial use only.
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Film Music of John Williams on Radio
Fifteen Film Composers
(includes John Williams)
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, John Williams wrote this to 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."
The expanded 6th edition of the Guide, including autographs by John Williams and other film composers and songwriters, is now available on a multimedia DVD with audio and video bonus features.
To order this guide, go to
Film Music Guide
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
The 27th Annual Sammy Awards
EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987)
Music by John Williams
La-La Land Records (2 CD set)
The 24th Annual Sammy Awards
Best New Film Score of 2011
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
for the annual
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