Star Wars: Episode VII Set to Roll Cameras May 2014

From StarWars.com:

Disney and Lucasfilm are excited to announce that principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams, will commence May 2014, and will be based at London’s historic Pinewood Studios.

This will be the first Star Wars film to start shooting in the month of May. Lucasfilm has documented the first day of principal photography for every installment of the Star Wars saga:

Williams to Conduct Oregon Symphony Next Month

On April 28, John Williams will make a special appearance to lead the Oregon Symphony in a benefit concert at Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The program will feature selections from Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T., and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as Williams’ own arrangements of music from Scent of a Woman and from Fiddler on the Roof. Tickets go on sale to the general public on March 14. - More details at OrSymphony.org

Williams Premieres ‘Book Thief’ Suite

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

‘The Book Thief’ Nominated for the Saturn Awards

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

‘The Role of Music According to John Williams’

“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

Williams to Premiere ‘The Book Thief’ Suite at Pre-Oscar Ceremony

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.

John Williams Conducts the Pacific Symphony – Concert Reviews & Photos

“MAESTRO OF THE MOVIES”
February 6, 2014, Orange County, CA
The Pacific Symphony Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS

JW-PacificSymphony2014

PHOTOS

Photo Gallery (Pacific Symphony Facebook page)

REVIEWS

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)