NEW UPDATE: Listen to the full performance and interview with John Williams (audio only):
See also: Video report (22-second John Williams segment starting at 4:53)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Williams and Jill Scott were among the artists who brought this year’s Oscar-nominated music to life at an inaugural concert organized by the motion picture academy. Williams conducted an 80-piece orchestra performing his score from “The Book Thief,” while Scott put her own spin on the Pharrell ditty “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2″ at Thursday’s first-ever Oscar Concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall. – Full article at NRP.org
Williams recounts working on E.T. with Steven Spielberg, “I don’t think that any of the scenes that Steven and I have done in our work together were done by having the music first.” The two men huddled around a piano while Williams plunked out a rough theme note by note, before it evolved into the music that accompanied the film by a full orchestra. – Full article.
John Williams’ score for The Book Thief has been nominated for the Saturn Awards, presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films. The other nominees in the music category are Oz The Great and Powerful by Danny Elfman, Big Bad Wolves by Frank Ilfman, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by Howard Shore, Iron Man 3 by Brian Tyler, and Now You See Me by Brian Tyler. Winners of the 40th Saturn Awards will be announced in June in Burbank, California. – Full list of nominees
On Saturday, June 14, John Williams and Steven Spielberg will join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) for a one-night-only gala benefit concert for the orchestra. Tickets to this special concert appearance will be available starting April 14. Both artists are donating their services for this extraordinary event. – More details at DSO.org
“If we’re successful as composers, we are finding a sound, a theme or if I can put the word in quotes, ‘noise’ that belongs to a film, that doesn’t exist anywhere else. There can be an aspect of uniqueness in the sound. So when we hear the ‘thump thump’ of Jaws we associate it with that particular film. That is part of what I try to do. But maybe there’s another way of looking at all this. It may be a happy accident that one element of the totality of a film can be taken out and appreciated on its own.” – Full interview at The Philippine Star
LOS ANGELES (AP) — After 85 years, Oscar is putting on his very first concert, and there are plans to televise future shows worldwide.
The motion picture academy will present a live Oscar Concert in the days leading up to the 86th annual Academy Awards that celebrates the year’s nominated music. The Feb. 27 concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall will feature all five original scores performed by an 80-piece orchestra conducted by each nominated composer, plus performances of the four original songs up for Oscars this year.
The show is open to the public, with tickets at Ticketmaster for $75 or $100.
Disney Examiner – We had the unbelievable privilege of being in the audience as it all played out yesterday in the beautiful Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and let us be the first ones to tell you that the night was way more than any of us could imagine…but imagine if you will with us! The magic of a live symphonic music playing the tunes of some of the most well-known music in the world conducted by the talented man who wrote it all. – Full report
The Orange County Register – John Williams conquered Segerstrom Concert Hall on Thursday night by stepping on stage, a standing ovation his reward for doing so, before a note had been played. The auditorium was packed, including the choral terrace behind the orchestra. Tickets had sold fast; the Pacific Symphony, the orchestra for the evening, had stopped marketing the event long ago. – Full review (subscribers only)
John Williams will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in his annual visit to the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday, August 30. This year, the Maestro welcomes special guest Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted), pays tribute to some of the classic stars of Warner Bros. Pictures, and conducts selections from some of his beloved movie hits, including Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Tickets go on sale May 4, 2014.