Williams Starts Recording STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII This Month

According to an article in Variety, covering Williams work for The BFG and James Newton Howard’s Fantastic Beats, Williams will beging recording the score for Star Wars: Episode VIII this month “and expects to record off and on through March or April 2017.” Here’s the Williams part of the interview:

“I loved doing it,” says Williams of “BFG,” “because it was a change from a lot of the things we’ve done. It was done with such feeling and such humanity that it represented a charming palette for me.”

For Williams, the orphan girl Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and her adventure with a Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance) “was really an opportunity to compose and orchestrate a little children’s fantasy for orchestra.” He likened the experience to working on “Home Alone” 26 years ago, especially “the lightheartedness and fun of it. Even when scenes are threatening or ominous, we know that it’s not serious.”

Williams composed more than 90 minutes of music for an 85-piece L.A. orchestra, including especially virtuosic parts for the flute section. “We tried to animate these little dreams that flit about the screen with flutes and harps and wispy harmonies,” the composer adds.

He praised the L.A. musicians as “world class” and was so inspired that he took the same ensemble over to UCLA’s Royce Hall a few months later and recorded an entire album of Spielberg movie themes, which Sony Classical will release next year.

“BFG” was based on a 1982 children’s novel by British writer Roald Dahl, whom Williams often encountered at the home of his friend and collaborator, director Robert Altman, in the late 1960s. “He seemed to be a tweedy, literary type,” Williams recalled, noting that he “had interest in music” and that they met not long before “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” the 1971 musical version of his “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Williams concedes that he had hoped for greater commercial success for “The BFG,” which was deemed a box-office disappointment after its July 1 release. His next film, however, won’t be: He begins recording “Star Wars Episode VIII” in December and expects to record off and on through March or April 2017.

Full article at Variety

JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD Complete Scores 4-CD Set Released


(4-CD SET) LLLCD 1409
Music by John Williams
Limited Edition of 5000 Units

Samples and order at www.lalalandrecords.com.

La-La Land Records, Universal Studios, Universal Music Special Markets and Amblin Entertainment present THE JOHN WILLIAMS JURASSIC PARK COLLECTION, a special limited edition 4-CD set featuring newly remastered and expanded reissues of maestro John Williams’ (JAWS, STAR WARS, SCHINDLER’S LIST) original motion picture scores to the 1993 blockbuster JURASSIC PARK and its 1997 follow-up THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, both directed by Steven Spielberg. Williams’ monumental JURASSIC PARK scores are integral to the franchise’s worldwide phenomenon. Teeming with action, drama, humor and heart, they rank among the celebrated composer’s most accomplished works. This deluxe edition, meticulously produced, edited and mastered by Mike Matessino, in consultation with the composer, director and producers, finally showcases these master works in a worthy, definitive presentation, with additional music never before released. The set’s 56-page booklet features exclusive, in-depth liner notes by Matessino and elegant art design, packed with amazing images, by Jim Titus. This is a limited edition of 5000 units. Life indeed “finds a way,” and these indelible Williams scores make the journey a thrillingly wonderful trip!

Tanglewood 2017: New Concert Work Premiere, ‘Jaws’ and ‘E.T.’ Live Concerts

John Williams’ annual ‘Tanglewood on Parade’ and ‘Film Night’ concerts will be joined this year by the world premiere of a new concert work by the Maestro and full performances of his Oscar-winning scores for Jaws and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial live to picture.

Williams himself will conduct selections of his film works on ‘Tanglewood on Parade’ (Aug. 1) and the second half of ‘Film Night’ (Aug. 19). Tickets for the Tanglewood season go on sale January 29 at 10AM.

On Sunday, June 18, at 8PM, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops bring Jaws to life, performing John Williams’s Academy Award-winning score live in sync with the iconic movie. – Performance details.

On Sunday, July 16, Andris Nelsons and the BSO are joined by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter for the world premiere of Markings, a piece written for her by John Williams. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique complete the program. – Performance details.

Conductors Charles Dutoit, Moritz Gnann, Keith Lockhart, Bramwell Tovey and John Williams will share the podium for ‘Tanglewood on Parade’ on Tuesday, August 1. The program includes Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Piano Concerto; the suite from Kodály’s Háry János; the Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture; and music from John Williams’ scores to Jurassic Park, Minority Report, and Jaws. – More details.

On Saturday, August 19, John Williams will share the podium for his ‘Film Night’ with BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, who will lead the first half of the concert, including music from classic film scores by Erich Korngold, Bernard Herrmann, and Alex North. The second half of the program sees Mr. Williams leading music from his own scores, including selections from the Harry Potter series, E.T., Far and Away and Lincoln. – More details.

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops present a live performance of John Williams’ Oscar-winning score to E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial alongside Steven Spielberg’s movie on Friday, August 25. – More details

John Williams Presents William Ross with Golden Score Award


Emmy-winning composer-arrangers William Ross and Alf Clausen were honored with Golden Score Awards by the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC) November 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center.

More than 300 members of L.A.’s musical community turned out for the annual event, which was hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin.

Ross was presented with his award by John Williams (with whom Ross worked closely on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002).

“As a composer, conductor, arranger and orchestrator, he is simply as good as it gets,” Williams said, calling him “the most genuine, gentle and generous person you’d ever meet… truly a great man.” – Full article at Film Music Society

Spanish Book on the Music of Star Wars

starwars-lamusicaStar Wars. La Música is the title of a new book by pianist and composer Andrés Valverde, who first published a John Williams biography in Spanish in 2013.

The new book takes an in-depth look at the creating process of the first seven film scores of the saga including composition, recording and album releases. Both John Williams: Vida y Obra and Star Wars. La Música are available at Amazon.es.

‘Montage: Great Composers and the Piano’ Documentary – L.A. Premiere & Q&A / Film Now Available Online

Pianist Gloria Cheng’s album Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano was the subject of a film premiere, a mini-concert and a panel discussion on October 15 at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall.

Cheng’s album, released in February 2015, contains newly commissioned solo-piano pieces by renowned composers John Williams, Randy Newman, Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Michael Giacchino and Alexandre Desplat, all of whom are better known for their award-winning skills as composers for visual media.

Cheng filmed the entire rehearsal and recording process, and producer Ben Proudfoot’s 27-minute distillation of highlights debuted Saturday night before an appreciative audience of about 500. The film is now making the festival rounds (and is available for rent on Vimeo).

Following the screening, Cheng performed excerpts from all six works, approximately 45 minutes of music, and received a standing ovation. After intermission, she was joined on stage by four of the composers: Williams, Newman, Broughton and Davis.

Referring to the new pieces, Williams said, “All this music reflects our feelings, characteristics, experiences, personalities and so on. It’s inescapable, really, like one’s handwriting or thumbprint.” – Full article at The Film Music Society

Watch ‘Montage: Great Composers and the Piano’ at Vimeo On Demand.

See also:
John Williams’ ‘Conversations’ Premiered (Program Notes, Reviews & Photos)
Williams on Stage at ‘Conversations’ Premiere (Video)

John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl – Reviews, Photos & Videos

September 2, 3 & 4, 2016, Hollywood Bowl, CA
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS and David Newman


David Newman conducting

“A Salute to Paramount Pictures”

  • Suite from Forrest Gump (Silvestri)
  • Suite from Sunset Boulevard (Waxman)
  • Theme From Sabrina
  • The Wild Ride from North by Northwest (Herrmann)
  • Selections from The Godfather (Rota)
  • Opening Sequence from Star Trek: Into Darkness (Giacchino)
  • Theme from Mission Impossible (Schifrin)


John Williams Conducting

  • Flight to Neverland from Hook
  • Suite from The BFG

“May The Force Be With You: The Music of Star Wars

  • The Jedi Steps and Finale from The Force Awakens
  • The Asteroid Field from The Empire Strikes Back
  • Princess Leia’s Theme from Star Wars
  • The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back
  • Rey’s Theme from The Force Awakens
  • The Throne Room & Finale from Star Wars


  • Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Main Title March from Superman
  • The Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Jazz Harmonica Legend Toots Thielemans Dies at 94

Toots Thielemans, one of the only musicians to have a successful career as a jazz harmonica player, died on Monday in Brussels. Thielemans performed in the original soundtrack recordings of John Williams’ Cinderella Liberty (1973) and the first Williams/Spielberg collaboration, The Sugarland Express (1974). He was widely regarded as one of the world’s top harmonica players and was well known for appearing on the Sesame Street and Midnight Cowboy themes.

Obituary at the New York Times

Toots Thielemans performs ‘Nice to Be Around’ from John Williams’ Cincerella Liberty

LSO to Perform ‘The Best of John Williams’ Concert Introduced by Williams Himself

This November, the London Symphony Orchestra will perform a “greatest film hits” concert featuring selections by John Williams, with each score introduced by Williams himself in an exclusive interview to be screened in the hall on the evening. The concert will take place on Saturday, November 26, at the Barbican Hall in London. Tickets are now on sale from £10 at the LSO website.

Program includes:

  • Theme from Superman
  • Devil’s Dance from The Witches of Eastwick
  • Theme from Jurassic Park
  • Prologue from JFK
  • Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse
  • Hedwig‘s Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Main Theme from Jaws
  • The Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Olympic Fanfare and Theme
  • March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
  • Highlights from Star Wars

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