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:

John Williams’ ‘Conversations’ for Piano Solo to be Released February 10

(More photos at Gloria Cheng’s Facebook page)

Pianist Gloria Cheng has announced that her album ‘Montage’ featuring John Williams’ ‘Conversations’ for piano solo will be released on CD on February 10, 2015. The album will also include piano works by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman and Alexandre Desplat.

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


Williams, Dudamel, Santaolalla to Gather at AMPAS’ Film Music Event

Press Release:

The Academy Steps Behind the Score with Composers Gustavo Dudamel, Gustavo Santaolalla and John Williams

LOS ANGELES, CA – Composers Gustavo Dudamel, Gustavo Santaolalla and John Williams will gather at the Academy for “Behind the Score: The Art of the Film Composer,” on Monday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles.  In a conversation hosted by Tavis Smiley, the illustrious trio will discuss significant musical moments in film that have inspired their work as they examine the art and process of creating a film score as well as the director-composer collaboration.

JWFan Exclusive: Producer Mike Matessino on the Making of ‘Empire of the Sun’ 2CD


by Mike Matessino

Producing the “Expanded Archival Collection” of Empire of the Sun for La-La Land Records and Warner Bros. has been a privilege and a delight of the highest order. As much as I had already admired the work of composer John Williams and director Steven Spielberg prior to 1987, I knew when I first experienced Empire of the Sun that this was a very ambitious and profound work of art, one which inspired me personally as well as professionally.