John Williams’ ‘Conversations’ Piece – Album Release Concert and Film Premiere

Piano Spheres: Gloria Cheng
Great Film Composers and the Piano
February 20, 2015

Two performances: 8pm and 9:30pm

MONTAGE – Great Film Composers and the Piano

Film premiere and CD Release Concert

Celebrate Gloria Cheng’s latest harmonia mundi release of piano works written for her by today’s greatest film composers. Hear the “personal side” of John Williams, Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, and Randy Newman, and how they compose when free from the constraints of scoring a film. Each of the two performances will feature selections from the CD, and the much-anticipated premiere of Gloria’s documentary film of the recording sessions, interviews, and footage from last year’s spectacular world premiere concert on the Piano Spheres series. – Full details at the Boston Court website

First Cues for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Recorded

From MakingStarWars.net:

Today, we received several reports about John Williams recording Star Wars cues at a Sony scoring stage. The Maestro is apparently recording the music for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser. As we’ve mentioned before, we heard the rough edit of the teaser was just a little over a minute long, showing off new characters from the film and culminating with the return of the Falcon to the big screen! We also heard that this rough edit was cut to existing Star Wars cues. The music recorded today was described by one source as a medley. Most likely what is being heard features new tiny transitions to make all the various cues line up to hit the beats the editors of the teaser envisioned. – Full report

John Williams’ ‘Film Night’ at Tanglewood: August 22, 2015

John Williams will conduct the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra for the annual Film Night at Tanglewood on August 22, 2015. Williams will share the podium with composer David Newman, who was also a guest conductor at the Tanglewood 2013 performance.

(Video: John Williams conducts ‘The Throne Room and End Title from Star Wars’ at Tanglewood’s ‘Film Night’ 2014)

See also: John Williams’ Film Night at Tanglewood 2014 – Full concert audio, reviews and photos

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Title Revealed

Putting some speculation to rest and kick-starting a new round of interpretation, the newest Star Wars movie now officially has a title. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the title of the J.J. Abrams-directed film, Disney announced Thursday. The studio also confirmed that it had wrapped principal photography, which had been widely reported over the weekend. – Full article at The Hollywood Reporter

TheForceAwakens

Original ‘Towering Inferno’ LP Re-issued Digitally

toweringinferno_lpThe 1974 original soundtrack album of John Williams’ score for The Towering Inferno has been reissued by Rhino Records as a digital download.

This is the first official digital release of Williams’ original album, previously available on LP and as a bootleg CD transferred from the original vinyl. A long out-of-print edition of the complete score was released by FSM in 2001.

You can listen to samples and purchase The Towering Inferno on Amazon.com (256kbps MP3), iTunes (256kbps AAC), Google Play (320kbps MP3) and Qobuz (Lossless, Europe only)

‘Episode VII’ Trailer Music to be Recorded Nov. 15?

Following the rumor that the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII will include original music written by John Williams, one of our sources claims that the Maestro will indeed record the new music next month in Los Angeles:

A reliable source just said JW received a trailer from JJ Abrams on Monday, Oct 20.  JW has already written new Star Wars music to accompany this trailer.  This new trailer music will feature new music and will be recorded on November 15 in LA with full orchestra.  Still determining if the score will be recorded in London due to advanced age of composer/conductor.  14 hour flight to LA not too kind on 82 year old.  This is all a secret and this message will be deleted shortly.

‘1941’ Extended Edition Blu-ray Includes New Music as Originally Intended

91oX87+siuL._AA1500_UPDATE: Interview with Mike Matessino about the new music

From producer Mike Matessino:

On October 14, 2014, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing “The Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection” on Blu-Ray and DVD. For the first time, the director’s 1979 comedy “1941” will be available in Hi-Definition in both its original theatrical version and the “extended edition” which was previously released on Laserdisc and DVD. Both have been remastered from original film elements and look better than ever… but fans of the movie may notice that the soundtrack for the “extended edition” has been subtly improved.

New Williams Concert Work: ‘A Toast!’

"A Toast!" by John Williams

A Toast!, a new concert piece written by John Williams, opened a special Gala Concert on September 23 celebrating the arrival of Andris Nelsons as new Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. BSO’s Principal Trombone Toby Oft wrote about it on his blog:

The highlight of the Gala concert for me was the new John Williams composition written for the event, “A Toast!” which used the full BSO brass section plus a few extras. The trombone voicing called for an extra bass trombone which allowed us to utilize a former Tanglewood Fellow, David Hagee, who just one week prior, won a permanent local job as Bass Trombone of the Boston Ballet. Per usual John Williams, the piece was rhythmically and harmonically exciting and stylistically perfect to kick off the Gala event that functioned as a welcome celebration to our new music director.