Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Williams

 
              I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! W is for Williams. John Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist who was born in 1932. Today’s featured video is the theme from Schindler’s List which was composed and conducted by John Williams with Itzhak Perlman playing the violin solo.



Johnwilliams2006   ·   John Williams wrote the scores for many well-known films, including Star Wars, Superman, Saving Private Ryan, the first three Harry Potter films, Indiana Jones, and many more. In fact, he composed the scores for eight of the Top 20 highest grossing films at the U.S. box office!
 
   ·   He has been nominated for 50 Academy Awards and currently holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person. He won five of those nominations for Best Scoring Adaptation and Original Song in Fiddler on the Roof, and Best Original Score for Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, and Schindler’s List.
 
   ·   In addition to his movie scores, Williams has composed many concert pieces, including a symphony and several concertos.
 
   ·   He was drafted to the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and conducted the U.S. Air Force Band. After his service ended in 1955, he attended Julliard and studied piano.
 
Scan of vinyl cover
released by RSO Records
   ·   Williams was the Principal Conductor for the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993.
 
   ·   John Williams has worked with director Steven Spielberg on over 20 films since 1974. Williams was present when Spielberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and gave him a thumbs-up.
 
   ·   After watching Schindler’s List, Williams told Spielberg, “You need a better composer than I am for this film.” Spielberg replied, “I know. But they're all dead!”

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Williams
http://www.classicfm.com/composers/williams/


For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. In the extra video I added today, John Williams, himself, is conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in the main theme from Star Wars.


 
Did you know John Williams composed the scores for so many movies? Which is your favorite John Williams theme? Trivia: Besides Star Wars, what franchise film came out last year which had an original theme composed by John Williams?

16 comments:

  1. I've heard music from this composer before. His musical styles come with a lot of range.

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    1. Cynthia, he does have a broad range, from whimsical to emotionally-stirring.

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  2. Ah yes, of course. My ex was a HUGE Star Wars fan, so I heard all about the genius of John Williams. I think Steven Spielberg may have been right about that. John Williams is probably the best composer of our time.

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    1. Stephanie, I agree, John Williams was the first modern composer I ever heard of, and that was years before I started listening to classical music on a regular basis.

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  3. Schindler's List is such a powerful film and I think a good chunk of credit should go to the composer.

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    1. Tamara, it is surprising how much of an impact music has within a movie.

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  4. He really is a talented man!

    betty

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  5. Star Wars, all the way! There's so much life in the sound.

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    1. Loni, I love hearing the Star Wars theme :)

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  6. Yes, I did know John Williams scored that many films. Film music is a very insular business, and the composers that get work there tend to keep getting work there. (My college oboe professor also taught film music. He also played occasionally on some film scores.)

    As for the trivia question: Jurassic World?

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    1. Liz, that's awesome about your professor! It does seem that the same names keep appearing over and over again in film music. Good job on the trivia :)

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  7. I remember when he took over from Arthur Fiedler with the Boston Pops. He has done so much but I always go back to Jaws...the music really set the mood for suspense and fear. Jurassic park etc.. is also excellent. I love James Horner and Lord of the Rings music is one of my favourites.

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    1. Birgit, I love the Lord of the Rings music, in fact my current ringtone is the theme of the hobbits :)

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