John Williams


John Williams Essay, Research Paper

John Williams

John Bromley

Anyways, everyone has listen to something John Williams has composed, alright maybe not the Amish but you get the idea. He has composed the music and served as music director for more than seventy-five films including The Lost World, Rosewood, Sleepers, Sabrina, Nixon, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Home Alone 1 & 2, Far and Away, JFK, Hook, Presumed Innocent, Always, Born on the Fourth of July, Stanley and Iris, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Accidental Tourist, Empire of the Sun, The Witches of Eastwick, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Star Wars Trilogy, Star Wars Episode One The Phantom Menace, Jaws, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. He has received thirty-four Academy Award nominations and has been awarded five Oscars and sixteen Grammies as well as several gold and platinum records. Mr. Williams’ most recent Oscar was for Best Original Score for Schindler’s List. Most recently he received Academy Award nominations for his scores for Sydney Pollack’s remake of Sabrina, Oliver Stone’s Nixon and Barry Levinson’s Sleepers. We know about the legend but what do we know about the man?

John Williams was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended the University of California and studied compositions privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After graduation he joined the Air Force and work in as a radar operator. After his service, Mr. Williams returned to New York to attend the Juilliard School where he studied piano. While in New York he also worked as a jazz pianist in both clubs and on recordings. Again Mr. Williams moved to Los Angeles where he began his career in the film studios working with such composers as Alfred Newman and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s, winning two Emmys for his work. In January 1980, John Williams was named nineteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. Mr. Williams assumed the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor following his retirement in December 1993.

Mr. Williams has led the Boston Pops on United States tours in 1985, 1989, and 1992 and on three tours of Japan in 1987, 1990, and 1993. Mr. Williams has also appeared as guest conductor with a number of major orchestras including the London Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Denver Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in many performances at the Hollywood Bowl. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from fourteen American Universities.

Many of Mr. Williams’ film scores have been recorded. His highly acclaimed albums with the Boston Pops Orchestra include Pops in Space, Pops on the March, Aisle Seat, Pops Out of This World, and Boston Pops on Stage, a collaboration with soprano Jessye Norman entitled With a Song in My Heart, a collection of favorite Americana entitled, America, the Dream Goes On, Bernstein by Boston Pops, Swing, Swing, Swing, Pops in Love, and By Request . . . Featuring the Music of John Williams, Holst’s The Planets, Digital Jukebox, Pops Britannia, featuring music of the British Isles, Salute to Hollywood, Pops a La Russe, an album of favorite Russian music, and an all-Gershwin album entitled Pops by George. The first recording by John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra on the Sony Classical label, Music of the Night, an album of contemporary and classic show tunes, was released in 1990. Also for Sony Classical, they have recorded a collection of favorite marches, entitled I Love A Parade, an album of John Williams’ music for the films of Steven Spielberg entitled the Spielburg/Williams (Really Steven s name was misspelled on the Cover!) Collaboration, the Green Album, which includes “This Land is Your Land,” “Simple Gifts,” and “Theme for Earth Day,” a Christmas album entitled Joy to the World, an album of music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern, entitled Night and Day, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, entitled Unforgettable, and their latest release, Music for Stage and Screen, an album featuring music by John Williams and Aaron Copland, It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t got that Swing, with vocalist Nancy Wilson, and most recently Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores.

In addition to his film music, Mr. Williams has written many concert pieces including two symphonies, a bassoon concerto premiered by the New York Philharmonic in 1995, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1994, concertos for flute and violin recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, and concertos for clarinet and tuba. The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra premiered his most recent work, a trumpet concerto, in 1996. In addition, Mr. Williams has composed the “Liberty Fanfare,” composed for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, And the themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympics.

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