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John Williams

The son of a guitarist, John Williams -- not to be confused with the film composer of the same name -- took his first guitar lessons at age seven from his own father. By the time he was 11, he'd been sent to study with Andres Segovia, and the following year, with the virtuoso's endorsement, he earned a scholarship to Siena's Accademia Musicale Chigiana. In 1956, Williams entered the Royal College of Music and took up piano and composition. In 1958, at age 17, he made his London concert debut at Wigmore Hall and followed this with his Paris debut a year later. In addition to his concert work, he spent the next decade teaching at the Royal College of Music.

Williams was signed to Columbia Records' Masterworks division (now Sony Classical) at the end of the 1960s, where he became that label's answer to Julian Bream at RCA-Victor and Christopher Parkening at Angel Records.

Williams' interests, personally and professionally, however, extended far beyond the boundaries of classical music or the usual confines of the classical guitar repertory. He has concertized and recorded with Bream (whom he considers a good friend) and performed with most of England's leading orchestras, but also performed and recorded music in a popular vein as well. By the 1970s, Williams was cutting albums such as Changes and, particularly, The Height Below (the latter done for the progressive Fly Records imprint) which were more rock than classical in nature. He also became a regular performer at Ronnie Scott's, working in more of a jazz-classical fusion mode, and moved into folk music through a concert tour with Ralph McTell. In 1978, Williams linked up professionally with four musicians whom he had previously crossed paths with and admired -- Francis Monkman, Tristan Fry, Kevin Peek, and Herbie Flowers -- to form the quintet Sky, a jazz-rock fusion band with a strong progressive element. The group quickly gained a popular following in Europe, and Williams redefined the image of what a classical guitarist was with his willingness to play an electric instrument. It was with the latter group in 1980 that Williams enjoyed a number six-charting hit single in England during 1980, an arrangement of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue." His recording of the "Cavatina" from The Deer Hunter also made the British Top 20.

Williams has worked with such non-classical luminaries as bandleader/pianist John Dankworth and singer Cleo Laine, among others, over the years, in various recording and performing pursuits, but he also continues as an active classical artist in concert and in association with Sony Music. He counts himself a fan of Eric Clapton and Joe Pass, among other non-classical guitarists. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Guitarist

Disc 1
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Partita For Lute In E Major, Bwv 1006a (Bc L171)
Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Suite Española No. 1, For Piano, Op. 47, B. 7
Composer: Agustín Barrios-Mangoré
Title: La Catedral (The Cathedral), For Guitar
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004
Composer: Silvius Leopold Weiss
Title: Passacaglia For Lute
Composer: Gaspar Sanz
Title: Canarios [I], For Guitar (Instrucción De Música Sobre La Guitarra Española, Book 1)
Composer: Joaquín Turina
Title: Homenaje A Tárrega, For Guitar, Op. 69
Composer: Francisco Tárrega (Y Eixea)
Title: Recuerdos De La Alhambra, For Guitar
Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Suite Española No. 1, For Piano, Op. 47, B. 7
Composer: Agustín Barrios-Mangoré
Title: Preludio For Guitar In C Minor
Title: Una Limosna Por El Amor De Dios, For Guitar ("El Ultimo Trémolo;" "El Ultimo Canto")
Composer: Enrique Granados
Title: La Maja De Goya, Song For Soprano & Piano (Tonadillas Al Estilo Antiguo, No. 8), H. 136/8
Composer: Antonio Lauro
Title: Natalia, For Guitar
Composer: Joaquín Rodrigo
Title: Fandango For Guitar (Piezas Españolas No. 1)
Composer: Leo Brouwer
Title: La Huida De Los Amantes Por El Valle De Los Echos, For Guitar (Black Decameron No. 2)
Disc 2
Composer: Stanley Myers
Title: Cavatina (From "The Deer Hunter")
Composer: Anonymous
Title: Romance
Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Title: Pavane, For Orchestra & Chorus Ad Lib In F Sharp Minor, Op. 50
Composer: Erik Satie
Title: Gymnopedie For Piano No. 3
Composer: Anonymous
Title: El Condor Pasa, Traditional Melody
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Schindler's List, Film Score
Composer: Ennio Morricone
Title: The Mission, Film Score
Composer: Scott Joplin
Title: The Entertainer, For Piano
Composer: Heráclio Fernandez
Title: El Diablo Suelto
Composer: Antonio Lauro
Title: El Marabino (The Half-caste)
Title: Nelly, For Guitar
Disc 3
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Title: Lute (Chamber) Concerto, For Lute (Or Guitar), 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Rv 93
Composer: John Johnson
Title: Galliard To Delight For Lute
Composer: Franz Schubert
Title: Sonata For Arpeggione & Piano In A Minor ("Arpeggione Sonata"), D. 821
Composer: Mauro Giuliani
Title: Guitar Concerto No. 1 In A Major, Op. 30 (Versions For Guitar & Orch; Gt. & String Quartet)
Composer: Claude Debussy
Title: Clair De Lune ("Votre âMe Est Un Paysage Choisi"), Song For Voice & Piano, L. 32
Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Title: Le Jardin De Dolly, For Piano, 4 Hands Or Orchestra (Dolly, Suite), Op. 56/3
Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Cantos De España, Pieces (5) For Piano, Op. 232, B. 44
Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
Title: Salut D'amour, For Violin & Piano, Op. 12
Composer: Joaquín Rodrigo
Title: Concierto De Aranjuez For Guitar & Orchestra
Composer: Claude Debussy
Title: Rêverie, For Piano, L. 68
Composer: Joaquín Rodrigo
Title: Fantasía Para Un Gentilhombre, For Guitar & Orchestra
Composer: Manuel de Falla
Title: La Vida Breve, Opera, G. 35/39 (2 Versions)
Composer: Enrique Granados
Title: Spanish Dances (12), In 4 Volumes For Piano (Also Arrangements), Op. 37, H. 142
x

Track List: John Williams: The Seville Concert From The Royal Alcázar Palace

Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Suite Española No. 1, For Piano, Op. 47, B. 7
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Partita For Lute In E Major, Bwv 1006a (Bc L171)
Composer: Domenico Scarlatti
Title: Sonata For Keyboard In D Minor, K. 213 (L. 108) "The Lover"
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Title: Lute (Chamber) Concerto, For Lute (Or Guitar), 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Rv 93
Composer: Yukihiro Yoko
Title: Theme And Variations On "Sakura, Sakura" For Guitar
Composer: Nikita Koshkin
Title: Usher Waltz, For Guitar (After Edgar Allan Poe), Op. 29
Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Cantos De España, Pieces (5) For Piano, Op. 232, B. 44
Composer: Agustín Barrios-Mangoré
Title: Un Sueño En La Floresta, For Guitar
Composer: Joaquín Rodrigo
Title: Concierto De Aranjuez For Guitar & Orchestra
Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Piezas Características (12), For Piano, Op. 92, B. 29
Title: Suite Española No. 1, For Piano, Op. 47, B. 7
Title: Cantos De España, Pieces (5) For Piano, Op. 232, B. 44
x

Track List: Digital Jukebox: John Williams and the Boston Pops

Composer: Gene Raskin
Title: Those Were The Days, Song
Composer: Manos Hadjidakis
Title: Never On Sunday, Film Score
Composer: Antonio Carlos Jobim
Title: Garota De Ipanema, Song (A.k.a. "The Girl From Ipanema")
Composer: Michel Legrand
Title: The Summer Of '42, Film Score
Composer: Kurt Weill
Title: Die Moritat Von Mackie Messer (The Ballad Of Mack The Knife), Song For Voice & Piano (from "Die Dreigroschenoper")
Composer: Georges Auric
Title: Moulin Rouge, Film Score
Composer: Henry Mancini
Title: The Pink Panther, Film Score
Title: Days Of Wine And Roses (for The Film The Days Of Wine And Roses)
Composer: Max Steiner
Title: A Summer Place, Film Score
Composer: Alex North
Title: Unchained Melody, Song (from The Film "Unchained")
x

Track List: Echoes Of London

Composer: Ralph McTell
Title: Streets Of London
Composer: William Byrd
Title: Lavolta, For Keyboard No. 2 In G Minor, Mb 91
Composer: Henry Purcell
Title: Work(s)
Composer: Alan Clare
Title: Holland Park
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Work(s)
Title: Suite For Keyboard (Suite De Piece), Vol.1, No.5 In E Major ("The Harmonious Blacksmith"), Hwv 430
Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
Title: Salut D'amour, For Violin & Piano, Op. 12
Composer: Noël Coward
Title: London Pride
Composer: George Gershwin
Title: A Foggy Day (in London Town), Song (from A Damsel In Distress, Film)
Composer: Eric Coates
Title: London (London Every Day), Suite For Orchestra

Comments

Welcome To Jurassic Park
John Williams musical composition of Star Wars may be one his best known, but he has written many other fabulous film scores. Just listening to a single piece of any of his works, you can hear the intricate web of numerous instruments combining to make brilliant music. Thank you Mr.Williams.
This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out. If you break this chain you will see a dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry This freaked me out This isn't fake. This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes
Today I was looking through some loose sheet music that I have and I found the song Journey To The Island from Jurassic Park! It's beautiful, but I am missing some pages. :(
zxenergy
no he doesn't play guitar. There's 2 john williams'. One is a bad a**. The other guy...is probably a bad a** too.
For me the music that comes through me Pandora is fantastic
johndbook
Pandora doesn't listen to its own bio of the man. Both great, both different people. Fantastic music all around! Echoes of London is a gem!
i love pandora. fyi, you have john williams (composer) biography linked with john williams (guitarist).

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