John Williams on ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Vanity Fair Interview)

“There are some scenes where we do make reference to earlier thematic pieces. We haven’t done it yet, but we’re planning to do it. It’s something that I think will seem very natural and right in the moments for which we’ve chosen to do these kinds of quotes. There aren’t many of them, but there are a few that I think are important and will seem very much a part of the fabric of the piece in a positive and constructive way.” – Full interview at Vanity Fair.

Concert Reviews – ‘From Star Wars to Harry Potter: Off to the Movies with John Williams’


May 15, 2014 – York, PA
May 17, 2015 – West Chester, PA
The Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Butterman


  • Superman March from Superman: The Movie
  • Across the Stars from Attack of the Clones
  • Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back
  • Cowboys Overture from The Cowboys
  • Great Westerns Suite (arr. Tvzik) – The Magnificent Seven, How the West Was Won, Silverado, Dances with Wolves
  • Harry’s Wondrous World from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Flight to Neverland from Hook
  • Main Theme from Jaws
  • Prelude from Psycho
  • Viktor’s Tale from The Terminal
  • Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Main Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark

Williams Cancels Boston Appearances

Th BSO has announced that John Williams has cancelled his May 22 and 23 appearances with the Boston Pops due to a back ailment that requires him to rest and limit travel over the next few weeks. Richard Kaufman will conduct these performances.

Here’s the BSO’s full notice:

John Williams regretfully has had to cancel his upcoming appearances with the Boston Pops, May 22 and 23, due to a back ailment that requires him to rest and limit travel over the next few weeks. Please note, the program will remain the same.

Richard Kaufman will conduct these performances. Among his many accomplishments, Richard Kaufman is the Principal Pops Conductor of the Pacific Symphony, the Pops Conductor Laureate of the Dallas Symphony, and is celebrating his tenth season at the helm of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s film concert series “CSO at the Movies.” As a friend and colleague of John Williams, Mr. Kaufman has appeared as a violinist on many of Mr. Williams’s film sound tracks over the years.


New JW Compilation including ‘A Nostalgic Jazz Odyssey’ (World Premiere Release) and ‘Fanfare for Fenway’ – Free Audio Streaming

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The US Coast Guard Band have just released a new John Williams 2CD set featuring a selection of John Williams suites and themes which includes the first official release of the 15-minute concert piece A Nostalgic Jazz Odyssey (1971), never before available on album or CD, as well as the premiere release of a studio recording of Fanfare for Fenway (2012), previously released by the US Air Force Band as a live recording.

The compilation, entitled ‘John Williams for Winds – Music for Cinema and Beyond’ is now available for free streaming at the US Coast Guard Band website (download link coming soon).


Silva Screen Releases ‘Music from the Star Wars Saga’


Silva Screen has reissued Music from The Star Wars Saga, a compilation featuring music from the 6 films performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic. The album was previously released as part of Silva’s The Music of John Williams – The Definitive Collection, and is now sold separately for the first time.

Press Release - The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Music From The Star Wars Saga


Released to celebrate May 4th Star Wars Day and the mounting excitement for the December release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

This compilation brings together selections from all six Star Wars films featuring John William’s towering and epic scores performed by the renowned City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Highlights include The Imperial March, Forest Battle, Duel Of The Fates and The Throne Room/Finale, the latter the masterful ending to the original 1977 Star Wars and the Oscar winner for best score.

Reminder: ‘E.T.’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Live to Projection


Brings Two Spielberg Classics to Concert Halls For First Time Orchestras to “Phone Home” with E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark

LOS ANGELES, CA – Lights… Camera… Music! IMG Artists and The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency are pleased to announce the creation of Film Concerts Live!, a new brand identity for their highly successful co-venture bringing full-length feature films to concert halls with symphony orchestras performing the scores live in sync with the pictures. Titles already available include Back to the Future, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness and Home Alone.

Now, Film Concerts Live! will bring two of Steven Spielberg’s biggest movie hits to concert halls for the first time, just in time for each picture’s 35th anniversary. The brand has signed worldwide deals with Lucasfilm Ltd/Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures to present the four-time Academy Award®-winning films Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at major concert venues – with symphony orchestras performing longtime Spielberg collaborator and five-time Oscar®-winner John Williams’ unforgettable scores live in sync with the films. The Los Angeles Philharmonic will give the world premiere of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Live in Concert at the famed Hollywood Bowl in September 2015. Raiders of the Lost Ark Live in Concert will receive its world premiere in December 2015 with the 21st Century Orchestra at KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland.

J.J. Abrams on Working with John Williams

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams chats with at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 about the joy of working with John Williams on the film’s score and creating new themes (video)


“Talk about collaborating with John Williams to put a brand new spin on a new Star Wars film score”

J.J. ABRAMS: It’s impossible to overstate the impact that John Williams has had on the movies that he’s worked on. Working with him on this has been maybe the most unbelievable and surreal joy of the whole thing.

What we are doing with the music needs to be very consistent with what we’re doing with the rest of the movie, which is that it needs to embrace what’s come before, but be moving forward and telling a new story.

So the new themes that you’ll hear, which co-exist with many of the old ones… is work that only John Williams could do.

More Abrams on Williams, from the Vanity Fair interview:

Bruce Handy: Tell me about what it was like working on the new film both as its writer-director and as a hard-core Star Wars fan going back to your childhood.

J.J. ABRAMS: Maybe the weirdest moment, which came months after production, was the first time I sat down with John Williams to show him about a half an hour of the movie. I can’t describe the feeling. All I will say is, just to state the facts of it: I am about to show John Williams 30 minutes of a Star Wars movie that he has not seen that I directed.

I mean, none of what I just said to you was ever going to happen in any form. John Williams—he was the DVD or Blu-ray of my childhood because we didn’t, of course, have VHS tapes of movies to watch when we wanted to. So I would buy John Williams soundtracks, often for movies I had not seen yet, and I would lie on the floor in my room with my headphones on listening to the soundtracks which would essentially tell me the story of the movie that I didn’t know. And I’d look at the photographs on the back of the album and I tried to read what I could about the movie—but really, I would just listen to these soundtracks. So it was an amazing thing to get to know him. But the weirdest thing was the idea that I was showing him scenes from a Star Wars movie he hadn’t seen yet. And the fact that they were scenes that I directed—that’s probably as surreal as it gets in my professional life experience.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – ‘Vanity Fair’ Photo

Members of the brain trust behind The Force Awakens: composer John Williams, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and director and co-writer Abrams, photographed at Bad Robot, Abrams’s production company, in Santa Monica.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz. (click to enlarge)


More photos from the session

Behind the scenes video:

‘A John Williams Celebration’ Blu-ray/DVD – Interviews Online

C-Major Entertainment has posted two new clips from their upcoming ‘A John Williams Celebration’ DVD & Blu-ray, featuring the 2014/15 Opening Gala Concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Gustavo Dudamel, with John Williams as guest conductor and Itzhak Perlman on violin.

In the first clip, John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel discuss their celebration of Williams’ music in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In the second one, Itzhak Perlman discusses working with John Williams on Schindler’s List and Fiddler on the Roof.

‘A John Williams Celebration’ will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 30.

L.A. Phil’s John Williams Tribute to be Released on DVD & Blu-ray / ‘Soundings’ Premiere Release

AJWCelebration_BD_smallOn June 30, Naxos’ subsidiary label C-Major will release on Blu-ray and DVD ‘A John Williams Celebration’, a 90-minute video featuring the 2014/15 Opening Gala Concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Gustavo Dudamel, with John Williams as guest conductor and Itzhak Perlman on violin.

Selections include the first official release of Soundings, composed for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003, Olympic Fanfare and Theme, Schindler’s List, Fiddler on the Roof, Catch Me If You Can, Star Wars, Amistad and The Empire Strikes Back. More details at

Pre-order your copy from Blu-ray - DVD

(High res artworkBack cover)

Watch the promotional video below: