John Williams to Score Kobe Bryant’s Animated Short Film

Kobe-JWRetired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant will turn his love poem to hoops, “Dear Basketball,” into a short animated film and a related series of projects to be distributed exclusively on Sports Illustrated digital properties. The short will be narrated by Bryant and directed by Glen Keane, the animator who has worked on such classic films as “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled.” John Williams, the five-time Oscar-winning composer whose credits include “Star Wars,” “Jaws,” the “Indiana Jones” series, “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park” and the “Harry Potter” films, will write the score for the animated ode to basketball.

“’Dear Basketball’ is the perfect tribute to something I’ve loved for so long. Glen and John are two legends in their industries, so to partner with them on the creative process is a dream come true,” – Full article at Variety

‘Phila. Orchestra celebrates Star Wars, classical composer John Williams’ (New Williams Interview)

“Creative breakthroughs in the face of personal trauma aren’t unusual in the lives of artists. “It makes or breaks people,” Williams said. “I was young and my wife was very young. Had I been 20 years older, I would’ve been less able to restart my life. Immediately thereafter, I did feel differently about working, especially with music. I can’t quantify or describe what it did. But we do change. All life experience does that. We have accidents. We have happy things. Having three teenage children at the time required a lot of focus and strength, being a single parent. . . . We could talk for a week about this.” – Full article at Philly.com

Pianist Gloria Cheng on Working with John Williams (Audio Interview)

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The Indy Cast interviews Grammy award winning pianist and John Williams collaborator Gloria Cheng about their ‘Conversations’ concert piece as well as her work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and other Williams scores, including Munich, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Adventures of Tintin. Click here to listen to the interview

John Williams Receives France’s ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ Award

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On April 19, John Williams was awarded France’s highest arts honor, “L’Ordre National des Arts et Lettres” in a ceremony that took place at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles, California.

Established in 1957, the Order of Arts and Letters recognizes people who have made significant contributions to literature, arts, or the promotion of these fields, in France as well as around the world.

‘The Force Awakens’ Flutist on Working with John Williams

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“Mr. Williams prefered to conduct without a click track unless absolutely necessary, so there were times that the music ran a little long as we all emoted together. The most amazing thing I have ever heard a director say to a composer was when JJ Abrams said to John ‘don’t worry, we’ll make the film work.’ JJ appreciated John so much and knew how important his music was that he was offering to make the film work with the music we had created.” – Full article

New Releases: ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Harry Potter’ for Two Pianos

61vqc3wk0eL._SS280French pianist and composer Enguerrand-Friedrich Lühl has released two new albums of John Williams music performed on piano, featuring the complete score from Jurassic Park, and selections from the first three Harry Potter scores. The Harry Potter compilation was recorded in collaboration with Mahery Andrianaivoravelona, with whom Lühl released Star Wars for Two Pianos last year.

Some of the albums’ tracks can be sampled on YouTube:

John Williams at the ‘Wizarding World’ Hollywood Opening Gala

Universal Studios Hollywood Celebrates the Arrival of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” with Acclaimed Award-Winning Composer John Williams Conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. Marks the Immersive Land’s Highly Anticipated Opening

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Universal Studios Hollywood marked the opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” with legendary Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Grammy award-winning composer John Williams conducting the L.A. Philharmonic synchronized to a spectacularly choreographed three dimensional digital lighting projection on Hogwarts castle.  A dynamic fireworks display followed to signal the much-anticipated arrival of this incredibly immersive land.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” officially opens to the public on Thursday, April 7.