‘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.

U.S. Marine Band Performs ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Concert Suite

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band performs John Williams’ Suite from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, transcribed by Paul Lavender, on March 14, 2016, at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Md. Conducted by Lt.Col. Jason K. Fettig.

FULL PLAY LIST – Total time: 19:33

SEPARATE LINKS

  1. Star Wars: Main Title (1:23)
  2. March of the Resistance (2:35)
  3. Rey’s Theme (3:20)
  4. Scherzo for X-Wings (2:24)
  5. The Jedi Steps and Finale (9:51)

John Williams’ 1965 composition ‘Essay for Strings’ to be performed July 23

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Montalban Theater (Hollywood, CA), July 23, 2016
Hollywood Chamber Orchestra conducted by Lucas Richman

The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra is honored to present a rarely heard composition of John Williams, which originally premiered in in December 1965 by André Previn and the Houston Symphony Orchestra.

In the composer’s own words: “The work, for string orchestra, is in one movement and its character is essentially dramatic. After a quiet introduction, the main “rowlike” theme appears. This is followed quickly by just a suggestion of the driving 16th-note “motor” figure which eventually, after other development, moves the work into its final section. It is here that the main theme joins the “motor” figure and they combine to propel the piece to its conclusion.”

Also on the program: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons, performed by violinist Sarah Chang.

Tickets on sale now at http://tinyurl.com/gqpc6cc

More details at HCO Event Page

First ‘Force Awakens’ Live Performances Conducted by John Williams to Take Place in Philly on Star Wars Day

John Williams will conduct “March of the Resistance” and “Rey’s Theme” from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and “Throne Room and Finale” from Star Wars at the all-Williams music concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra on May 4. According to the orchestra’s website, due to his recent composing schedule, Williams has entrusted the remainder of the repertoire to his good friend Stéphane Denève. The concert also features exclusive video interviews with the composer about his work, a selection of film clips presented with some of Williams’ iconic movie themes, and a unique demonstration on the art of film scoring. – Full details at Philorch.org

FULL PROGRAM

Stéphane Denève – Conductor
John Williams – Conducting Star Wars
Hai-Ye Ni – Cello

  • Sound the Bells!
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • “Sayuri’s Theme” and “Brush on Silk,” from Memoirs of a Geisha
  • “Harry’s Wondrous World,” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • “Night Journeys,” from Dracula
  • “Adventures on Earth,” from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • “The Raiders’ March,” from Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Excerpts from The Book Thief
  • “The Barrel Chase Sequence,” from Jaws
  • “March of the Resistance” and “Rey’s Theme,” from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • “Throne Room” and Finale, from Star Wars