‘1941’ Extended Edition Blu-ray Includes New Music as Originally Intended (*UPDATED*)

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.

After completing work on La-La Land Records’ 2-CD limited edition soundtrack of John Williams’s score for “1941,” I proposed that the hi-definition release afforded an opportunity to restore the music for some of the extended sequences to how it was originally intended by the composer. I further suggested that the music on a few other sections (for which no score had been composed) might be adjusted to better suit the action and could also make use of material not otherwise heard in the picture.

Happily, the proposal was accepted and I provided the edited six-track music and supervised the remixing of six scenes, which were then approved by both Steven Spielberg and John Williams. I would like to thank everyone at Universal and at Amblin, and, especially, co-story & co-screenwriter Bob Gale, for making this happen. I hope viewers will enjoy this newly polished extended edition of “1941” as much as I enjoyed working on it.

The Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection is available now at all Blu-Ray & DVD retailers.

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.

Williams to Begin Work on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII in Two Weeks

During his October 4 concert in Milwaukee, and as an introduction to his performance of The Throne Room and End Title from Star Wars, John Williams revealed that “in about two weeks” he would start working on the score to Star Wars: Episode VII. The new chapter in the Star Wars saga is scheduled for release on December 18, 2015. – Read the original report at MakingStarWars.net

Williams Conducts Milwaukee Symphony – Review & Video (UPDATED)

October 4, 2014, Milwaukee, WI
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS

UPDATE: Milwaukee Symphony principal bassoonist on performing with John Williams


  • The Cowboys Overture
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Suite from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    (“Hedwig’s Theme,” “Nimbus 2000,” “Harry’s Wondrous World”)
  • Marion’s Theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Hooray for Hollywood (Richard A. Whiting, arr. Williams)
  • Theme from Jurassic Park – Matthew Annin, horn
  • Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse – Sonora Slocum, flute
  • Flight to Neverland from Hook
  • Theme from Schindler’s List – Frank Almond, violin
    The Throne Room and End Title from Star Wars
  • With Malice Toward None from Lincoln – Susan Babini, cello
  • The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark

L.A. Philharmonic Tribute to John Williams: Reviews & Photos

September 30, 2014, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel
JOHN WILLIAMS, special guest conductor
U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and members from the Angeles Chorale – Anne Tomlinson, conductor
Itzhak Perlman, violin


Williams to Conduct San Diego Symphony in January

John Williams will conduct the San Diego Symphony Orchestra on January 30 & 31, 2015, in a program that will include selections from E.T., Indiana Jones, Star Wars and a suite from Memoirs of a Geisha featuring cellist Johannes Moser. More details at the orchestra’s website: January 30January 31

Note: Only subscribers to any Season 2014-15 series will have access to John Williams tickets through December.

New ‘Home Alone’ Live-to-Picture Shows this December


Following last year’s premiere show by the Cleveland Symphony, several orchestras across the US will perform John Williams’ Home Alone score live to projection this December. The list of cities includes Nashville, San Francisco, Detroit and Boston, with more possibly added soon. More details and ticket purchase at the links below.

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LA Philharmonic Kicks Off Season with ‘A John Williams Celebration’ at Walt Disney Hall, 9/30 (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Gala info sheet & Electronic invite (PDF)

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, kicks off its 2014/15 season in grand fashion with a celebration of the greatest film composer of all time at the Opening Night Concert & Gala: A John Williams Celebration, Tuesday, September 30, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The all-Williams concert program is highlighted by an appearance from legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman joining the orchestra to perform works including music from Schindler’s List.

The program features several elaborate video installations created by projection designer Netia Jones and critically acclaimed creative studio, LIGHTMAP. Jones is producing new video content for the performance of Williams’ Soundings, first performed at the 2003 opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall. For the show’s thrilling conclusion, Jones is designing a unique video installation featuring concept art from the Lucasfilm archive, to accompany the orchestra’s performance of the iconic Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars.