John Williams was announced as the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal – one of the highest honours in music, recognising outstanding musicianship since 1870 – as part of the 2020 RPS Awards Presentation on 18 November.
John has dedicated his life to ensuring orchestral music continues to speak to and captivate millions of people worldwide. Accepting the medal via video, he said: ‘To receive this award is beyond any expectation I could possibly have. For any composer to be able devote his or her life entirely to the composition of music is very fortunate indeed. I’d like to thank our musicians of our great orchestras in London and in the United States with whom I’ve worked so happily for so many years.’
Director Steven Spielberg sent his congratulations in a video recorded especially for the RPS, saying: ‘John, you have brought the classical idiom to young people all over the world through your scores, and through your classical training and your classical sensibilities. You are in the DNA of the musical culture of today.’