John Williams, ‘Greatest Film Composer of All Time’ According to Recent Poll

From Consequence of Sound:

Ladies and gentlemen, we can finally answer, “Who’s the Greatest Film Composer of All Time”? It’s John Williams. Yes, the No. 1 choice for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas is apparently also our readers’ top pick. Surprisingly, the 82-year-old composer came out on top after a hard, hard round that involved both Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass. Our hats are off to you. – Full article

Composer Ken Thorne Passes Away

English composer Ken Thorne, who wrote the scores for Superman II and Superman III using John Williams’ original material as well as his own compositions, died on July 9 at age 90. Thorne previously worked with Richard Lester on The Beatles film Help! and Stephen Sondheim’s musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He also wrote the original score for the Pink Panther sequel Inspector Clouseau. His work on the Superman sequels was released in 2008 as part of Superman: The Music, a 8-CD box set containing the complete original scores from Superman to IV.

RIP Ken Thorne (FSM Board)

‘Montage’ CD Project including Williams’ ‘Conversations’ – Facebook Page

The official page for Gloria Cheng’s CD and film project featuring John Williams’ “Conversations” for piano solo is now available on Facebook. The album, which will be released on February 10, 2015, will also include new piano works by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman and Alexandre Desplat. A documentary film on the project will be made available on YouTube shortly prior to the CD release.

Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano – CD & Film (Be sure to ‘like’ the page for the latest updates)

See also:
- Gloria Cheng Starts Project to Fund the Release of Williams’ Conversations’
- John Williams’ ‘Conversations’ Premiered (Reviews & Program Notes)

Williams Conducts New Version of ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ (Video)

On July 4th, John Williams conducted a new arrangement for orchestra and chorus of “The Star Spangled Banner” to mark its 200th anniversary, as part of the “A Capitol Fourth” Independence Day celebration concert.

Williams lead the National Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the Joint Armed Forces Chorus and the Choral Arts Society of Washington in performing the new arrangement.

The video includes Williams’ introduction and the beginning of his “Liberty Fanfare”, which he conducted right after the National Anthem.

UPDATE: Higher quality version now available

John Williams’ ‘Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra’ World Premiere (Video)

On July 1, the China Philharmonic Orchestra with pianist Lang Lang premiered “Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra”, a new work by John Williams commissioned by the Music in the Summer Air Festival. The piece was premiered at the Poly Theatre in Beijing, China, and will be performed again in Shanghai on July 4 by pianist Li Jian and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Star Wars Musical (Disney Parody)

Star Wars Musical is a parody of Episode IV: A New Hope, adapting Classic Disney songs, including “A Whole New World” and “When You Wish Upon a Star”, and mashing them up with John Williams’ Star Wars Themes. Dedicated fans, actors, and film professionals have come together to create this ultimate love letter that celebrates fandoms across different worlds in a combination live action/animated film.

You can watch the film below:

New Release of Williams’ ‘Trumpet Concerto’

Finnish label Pilfink Records has released a new recording of John Williams’ Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, peformed by the Finnish Radio Symphony under Dima Slobodeniouk, with Jouko Harjanne on trumpet. The album also includes Finnish composer Arttu Sipila’s Trumpet Concerto. – Full details and purchase

Williams’ 1996 concert work was previously recorded by the LSO and is available in a 2002 release.

Remembering ‘Empire of the Sun’ with Mike Matessino (70-minute Audio Interview)

Tim Burten interviews album producer Mike Matessino to coincide with the new 2CD limited edition release of John Williams’ Empire of the Sun, discussing the movie and music in detail, with numerous cue commentaries and revealing the unique scoring and spotting approach that Spielberg and Williams took. – Interview intro and comments at Film Score Monthly.

Full audio interview: