Jazz Harmonica Legend Toots Thielemans Dies at 94

Toots Thielemans, one of the only musicians to have a successful career as a jazz harmonica player, died on Monday in Brussels. Thielemans performed in the original soundtrack recordings of John Williams’ Cinderella Liberty (1973) and the first Williams/Spielberg collaboration, The Sugarland Express (1974). He was widely regarded as one of the world’s top harmonica players and was well known for appearing on the Sesame Street and Midnight Cowboy themes.

Obituary at the New York Times

Toots Thielemans performs ‘Nice to Be Around’ from John Williams’ Cincerella Liberty

LSO to Perform ‘The Best of John Williams’ Concert Introduced by Williams Himself

This November, the London Symphony Orchestra will perform a “greatest film hits” concert featuring selections by John Williams, with each score introduced by Williams himself in an exclusive interview to be screened in the hall on the evening. The concert will take place on Saturday, November 26, at the Barbican Hall in London. Tickets are now on sale from £10 at the LSO website.

Program includes:

  • Theme from Superman
  • Devil’s Dance from The Witches of Eastwick
  • Theme from Jurassic Park
  • Prologue from JFK
  • Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse
  • Hedwig‘s Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Main Theme from Jaws
  • The Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Olympic Fanfare and Theme
  • March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
  • Highlights from Star Wars

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Tanglewood ‘Film Night’ Concert Online

“JOHN WILLIAMS’ FILM NIGHT”
August 13, 2016, Tanglewood, MA
The Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Richard Kaufman and JOHN WILLIAMS

LISTEN TO THE FULL CONCERT AT WGBH.ORGDirect link to MP3 stream

CONCERT PROGRAM

Richard Kaufman conducting

“Up, Up and Away: The Movies Take Flight”

  • The Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Flight to Neverland from Hook
  • March from Superman
  • Love Theme from Superman
  • Flight and Technology from The Unfinished Journey
  • Flying Over Africa” from Out of Africa (Barry)
  • Ireland from The Spirit of St. Louis (Waxman)
  • March from The Great Waldo Pepper (Mancini)

INTERMISSION

John Williams Conducting

  • Olympic Fanfare and Theme
  • Song for World Peace

“May The Force Be With You: The Music of Star Wars

  • The Jedi Steps and Finale from The Force Awakens
  • The Asteroid Field from The Empire Strikes Back
  • Princess Leia’s Theme from Star Wars
  • The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back
  • Rey’s Theme from The Force Awakens
  • The Throne Room & Finale from Star Wars

ENCORES

  • Luke and Leia from Return of the Jedi
  • Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Williams Confirms He’s Scoring ‘Episode VIII’ (UPDATED)

According to reports from JWFan members as well as a review of last Saturday’s ‘Film Night’ concert at Tanglewood, Williams told the attending crowd that he will indeed compose the score to Star Wars: Episode VIII, and he plans to see a first cut of the film in a few weeks.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to be released in cinemas on December 15, 2017.

UPDATE: Williams’ speech (video and transcript):

So our producer Kathy Kennedy called me at Disney Studios a few weeks ago and said “Would you like to do the new Star Wars?” and I said “Well, yes, I think I would but the honest truth is I don’t want anybody else to write music for Daisy. So in a few weeks I will receive a first viewing of it and see who Rey’s father is, we don’t know, we’ll find out.

John Williams’ AFI Award Tribute Videos Online

The American Film Institute’s YouTube channel has been updated with a series of highlights from their John Williams Life Achievement Award tribute gala, which took place on June 9 in Hollywood. Their current playlist includes Williams’ acceptance speech as well as salutes and speeches from Steven Spielberg, Drew Barrymore, J.J. Abrams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Kobe Bryant.







Williams Meets Two Musicians Playing the ‘Star Wars’ Theme Outside His House

This is what happened when two musicians made a spontaneous decision to play the Star Wars theme in front of John Williams’ house on July 11, 2016… With the high part played by 13-year-old trumpeter, Bryce Hayashi, and the lower flugelhorn part played by Michael Miller (“Mickle”), John Williams decided to come out and greet the young musicians (1:07 into the video).

JWFan Reviews ‘The BFG’

The BFG – The Big Friendly Giant
Music composed and conducted by John Williams

a review
by
Mikko Ojala

The director/composer partnership of Steven Spielberg and John Williams is by any standards legendary in film business and each new outing of the pair is anticipated with enthusiasm and interest by the film and film music buffs. Their 28th feature film collaboration is an adaptation of the Roald Dahl’s children story, The Big Friendly Giant or The BFG for short,which in the vein of the author’s other works for children combines darker elements and often adults in the roles of villains with humour, lightness of touch and terrific word play. While the film reportedly includes more the whimsy and less of the dark, the score by John Williams sees the maestro returning to magic and childish wonder in full force and in a very familiar style.

Williams to Premiere ‘The BFG’ Suite at Tanglewood

John Williams will conduct an eight-minute suite from his latest score, The BFG, at this year’s Tanglewood on Parade, which will take place on August 2. The program will also include March of the Resistance from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and his concert piece Of Grace and Majesty, formerly known as A Hymn to New England.

The soundtrack album for The BFG is now available for purchase at Amazon.com and other online retailers.