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John Williams

The most popular film composer of the modern era, John Williams created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in Hollywood history -- Star Wars, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter are just four of the credits in his extensive oeuvre. Born February 8, 1932, in Floral Park, New York, he was the son of a movie studio musician, and he followed in his father's footsteps by studying music at UCLA and Juilliard; initially, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist, later working with Henry Mancini to compose the score for the hit television series Peter Gunn. Williams then went solo to pen a number of TV soundtracks for series including Playhouse 90, Wagon Train, and Bachelor Father; in 1959 he ventured into film with Daddy-O, and spent the majority of the 1960s alternating between the silver screen (The Killers, The Plainsman) and its smaller counterpart (Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space).

In 1968 Williams earned his first Academy Award nomination for his work in Valley of the Dolls; in 1970, he garnered nods for both The Reivers and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and two years later finally won for Fiddler on the Roof. A slew of Oscar nominations followed, for features including The Poseidon Adventure, Images, Tom Sawyer, and The Towering Inferno.

In 1980, Williams took over for the late Arthur Fiedler as the conductor of the Boston Pops, a position he would hold until 1993, when he passed the baton to Keith Lockhart.

Over much of his career, two major relationships helped cement Williams' iconic legacy in film and music. In 1974 he teamed with a young filmmaker named Steven Spielberg for the first time on a movie titled The Sugarland Express. Over the coming decades, the two frequently reteamed, often with stunning results -- Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Empire of the Sun, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and War Horse were just a few of the Spielberg/Williams pairings, with Jaws, E.T. and Schindler's List all winning the composer Academy Awards. Notably, Williams has scored every Spielberg film with only two exceptions: 1985's The Color Purple and 2015's Bridge of Spies. The pair continued their collaborative magic for 2016's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic, The BFG.

Williams' other frequent collaborator was George Lucas; beginning with 1977's Star Wars -- yet another Williams Oscar winner -- they later teamed for 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi (with the composer agreeing to score Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy as they went into production in 1997). A decade after the final prequel film, 2005's Revenge of the Sith, Williams returned to the beloved universe -- this time with J.J. Abrams in the director's chair -- scoring the first installment of the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens, in 2015.

Other film scores of note included 1979's Superman, 1987's The Witches of Eastwick, 1988's The Accidental Tourist, 1991's JFK, 1995's Nixon, 1997's Amistad, and the entire Harry Potter film series. His Grammy wins include Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Superman, Indiana Jones, ET, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Angela's Ashes, Memoirs of a Geisha, Munich and the Book Thief.

In addition to receiving the Olympic Order award from the International Olympic Committee in 2003 and the National Medal of Arts at the White House in 2009, Williams was the first composer to receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 2016. ~ Jason Ankeny & Neil Z. Yeung
full bio

Selected Discography

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)

2. Partita For Lute In E Major, Bwv 1006a (Bc L171): I. Prelude

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

7. Theme And Variations On "Sakura, Sakura" For Guitar: Sakura

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

10. Un Sueño En La Floresta, For Guitar: Sueno En La Floresta

Composer: Joaquín Rodrigo
Title: Concierto De Aranjuez For Guitar & Orchestra
Composer: Isaac Albéniz
Title: Piezas Características (12), For Piano, Op. 92, B. 29

12. Piezas Características (12), For Piano, Op. 92, B. 29: Torre Bermeja

Title: Suite Española No. 1, For Piano, Op. 47, B. 7

13. Suite Española No. 1, For Piano, Op. 47, B. 7: Granada (Serenata)

Title: Cantos De España, Pieces (5) For Piano, Op. 232, B. 44

15. Cantos De España, Pieces (5) For Piano, Op. 232, B. 44: Cordoba

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

1. Streets Of London: Streets Of London

Composer: William Byrd
Title: Lavolta, For Keyboard No. 2 In G Minor, Mb 91

2. Lavolta, For Keyboard No. 2 In G Minor, Mb 91: La Volta

Composer: Henry Purcell
Title: Work(s)

3. Work(s): Air On A Ground Bass

Composer: Alan Clare
Title: Holland Park

4. Holland Park: Holland Park

Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Work(s)

5. Work(s): Courante

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)

12. A Foggy Day (in London Town), Song (from A Damsel In Distress, Film): A Foggy Day

Composer: Eric Coates
Title: London (London Every Day), Suite For Orchestra
x

Track List: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Original Soundtrack)

Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Film Score
x

Track List: War Horse (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Title: War Horse, Film Score

2. War Horse, Film Score: The Auction

3. War Horse, Film Score: Bringing Joey Home, And Bonding

4. War Horse, Film Score: Learning The Call

5. War Horse, Film Score: Seeding, And Horse Vs. Car

6. War Horse, Film Score: Plowing

7. War Horse, Film Score: Ruined Crop, And Going To War

8. War Horse, Film Score: The Charge And Capture

9. War Horse, Film Score: The Desertion

10. War Horse, Film Score: Joey's New Friends

11. War Horse, Film Score: Pulling The Cannon

12. War Horse, Film Score: The Death Of Topthorn

13. War Horse, Film Score: No Man's Land

14. War Horse, Film Score: The Reunion

16. War Horse, Film Score: The Homecoming

Comments

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STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS MOVIE: >:P
STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS SOUNDTRACK: :D

ANT THE HARRY POTTER SOUNDTRACKS! ! AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE HARRY POTTER!!!!
Report as inappropriate
ieatglass15
I have Star Wars family members
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brookwilkers o n
Star Wars, Superman, Harry Potter, he can add music to anything. He is so so awesome.
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I could never get tired of listening to this music. It's so perfect and beautifully done :)
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��he gets this.�������
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I love Star Wars
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esli.gollapa l l i
He is the best film composer ever
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charisma7
FN-2817
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charisma7
Love star wars
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I seen the new Star Wars is Riley good movie I am waiting for 9 movies of Star Wars
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I like star wras
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I love John Williams music spicificly star wars and superman
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This music is the best
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Jurassic Park 4 life
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Hmmmm...what if he was de person ho played John Hammond? O^o
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sluthills
His face!!!! Omg!!!! HIS FACE!!!! Look away!!!! Jk lol
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Is he still alive?

~watches jurassic world for the 4th time~
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My dynamic dou
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I love jurassic series i can play jurassic park on the cello and piano
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The song was better than my favorits
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I love his Star Wars, and Jurassic Park
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I love Jurassic park
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ruiztricia60
I love his soundtrack for return of th jedi
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This is John Williams the guitarist, not John Williams the film composer. Pandora is confused.
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calvinbarnes j r 7 6
They should make a movie like Jurassic World but it's called Siri World where Siri takes over. Lol
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John Williams is the best composer of our time
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I love Jurassic park it is so cool
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Kiss your hand ten times and say your crushes name
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The way they added the original soundtrack from Jurassic park into the new movie was amazing! When they are seeing the old section of the park.
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lucyrae577
Don't forget, fans, he also wrote the Theme to the Olympics! So majestic!
Report as inappropriate
jmfjr8
Said I Phone 5 times
Color
Green
Report as inappropriate
jmfjr8
And yes John Williams will maybe be composing the new Star Wars movie,The Force Awakens
Report as inappropriate
jmfjr8
I looked up that John Williams is still alive and breathing at the age of 78. Yay
Report as inappropriate
jmfjr8
I play piano and I want to play this song along with Jaws.......c h o m p , c h o m p
Report as inappropriate
ladelrassojr 5
Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post this in 5 songs
Check under your pillow
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Does anyone know if the composer John Williams is composing the score for the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens?
Report as inappropriate
jamieramy5
I love john Williams(com p o s e r )
Report as inappropriate
Film scores by John Williams=da boss!
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ariagilbert2 0 0 6
Dinosaurs!��
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I will never get tired of this wonderful melody so beautiful
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Welcome To Jurassic Park
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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.
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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
Report as inappropriate
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. :(
Report as inappropriate
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.
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For me the music that comes through me Pandora is fantastic
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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!
Report as inappropriate
i love pandora. fyi, you have john williams (composer) biography linked with john williams (guitarist).

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