John Williams & Steven Spielberg in Seattle – Concert Reviews, Photos and Videos

September 27, 2017, Seattle, WA
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS


  • Hooray for Hollywood (Whiting, arr. Williams)
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Flight to Neverland from Hook
  • A Child’s Tale: Suite from The BFG
  • Scherzo for X-Wings from The Force Awakens
  • Rey’s Theme from The Force Awakens
  • Main Title from Star Wars
  • Theme from Jaws
  • Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse
  • The Circus Train Chase from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Duel from The Adventures of Tintin
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • With Malice Toward None from Lincoln
  • The Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark


  • – The first half of the concert closed with three selections from Star Wars films. Williams reminisced about working with Kenneth Wannberg (who was in attendance at the concert) on the 1977 original four decades ago, never imagining there would be a second film, let alone an eighth due out this December. The composer advised the audience to pay attention to the virtuosity of the Seattle Symphony’s musicians in “Scherzo for X-Wings,” saying he loved to perform the piece in concert “because you can’t do a film like Star Wars without a great orchestra.” And he recounted how he agreed to score The Last Jedi because he didn’t want anyone else composing for Daisy Ridley, with whom he had fallen in love when he first screened The Force Awakens (while noting that she is “younger than my youngest grandchild”). Audience cheers greeted the massive initial B♭-major chord of the main title from Star Wars, which led to intermission. – Full review


  • The Stranger – At one point, Spielberg gave a shot-for-shot commentary on a chase scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but without any music playing behind it. When teenage Indy crashed through the roof of a train car and then landed in a box full of snakes, Spielberg turned to the audience and said, “That’s where the snake thing comes from.” Then they ran the tape again, except this time with Williams conducting a live score. The music, of course, made all the difference, and the process reminded everyone how much emotional weight is carried by a film’s weepy violins and proud French Horns. – Full review


  • Seattle Times, Spielberg had initially been unavailable to come to Seattle for the Williams concert, but about two months ago, the Symphony got a phone call that he would be available. The Symphony decided to keep the appearance a secret from the audience and even from many of those working at the Symphony. “An added element of surprise — who doesn’t love that when they come to a show,” Shafii said. – Full report


John Williams conducts Rey’s Theme:

John Williams introduces Steven Spielberg:

Full Spielberg speech:

John Williams conducts the Star Wars main theme (“vertical video”):



(Photo by Brandon Patoc)

(Photo by Brandon Patoc)

(Photo by Roberta Downey)

(Photo by G.E. Campbell)