John T. Williams

Biography

Born: February 8, 1932; Flushing, NY  
Quick, who's the one person who has been nominated for an Oscar more often than anyone else in any category? That would be composer John Williams, nominated over 40 times for his original film scores and orchestrations. He received his first Oscar nomination in 1969 for the score to Valley of the Dolls, and since then he has become the most recognized film composer in history, not just because of his scores, but also because he has successfully Read more followed in Arthur Fiedler's footsteps as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Williams grew up in New York, where his father was drummer in the Raymond Scott Quintette and other bands. All four children in the family naturally took music lessons. Williams studied piano as a child, and later trumpet, trombone, and clarinet. He did some work as a teenager with pianist and arranger Bobby van Epps, and also enrolled in composition classes at UCLA before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1951, where he arranged band music and took up conducting. Williams studied piano with Rosina Lhevinne at Juilliard and worked as a jazz pianist. He then returned to California and studied composition with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. His compositional career began in the early 1960s with television series such as Peter Gunn, Wagon Train, Gilligan's Island, and Lost in Space. He was able to work as an orchestrator and arranger with industry giants Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, Alfred Newman, Henry Mancini, and André Previn. In 1972 he received his first Academy Award for his adaptation of Jerry Bock's music for Fiddler on the Roof, but it was his scores for Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975) and George Lucas' Star Wars (1977) that brought him real notice. Those full, orchestral scores lead some to claim that he alone was responsible for reviving the symphonic style of film music and were the beginning of two long-standing composer/director partnerships. A public face appeared to go with the name when Williams was chosen to conduct the Boston Pops after Fiedler's death. Under his leadership, the orchestra maintained its popularity, toured America several times, and made concert versions of his movie themes regular pops fare. Although maintaining close ties to Boston after leaving the Pops in 1993 and continuing to guest conduct a number of orchestras, Williams has spent more of his time since the mid-1990s composing concert music, such as 1995's bassoon concerto The Five Sacred Trees, and 2000's violin concerto TreeSong, while still charming cinema audiences with music that, while fully rooted in traditional Romantic idioms, easily expresses the emotion and action of the film's story. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 252 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Journeys / Lang, United States Air Force Band
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11219 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steven Bryant,  John T. Williams,  Frank Ticheli,  Jun Nagao  ... 
    Conductor:  Larry H. Lang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 2.
    John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 537458 Release Date: 03/17/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  John Williams
    CD: $34.99
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  • 3.
    Filmharmonic Brass plays John Williams
    Label: Roven Records   Catalog: 10017 Release Date: 02/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Filmharmonic Brass
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  • 4.
    Music from the Motion Pictures / Griffiths, Brandenburgisches, Staatsorchester Frankfurt
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: 1518 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Elmer Bernstein,  Richard Addinsell,  Malcolm Arnold  ... 
    Performer:  Anastasia Voltchok,  Veriko Tchumburidze
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
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  • 5.
    Screen Serenade / Jones
    Label: Silva Screen   Catalog: 6054 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Danny Elfman,  Stanley Myers,  Hans Zimmer,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Claire Jones
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  • 6.
    Silence on Joue: Take 2 / Dubeau, La Pieta
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 287434 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  James Horner,  Alan Silvestri,  John Barry,  Michel Legrand  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 7.
    My First Classical Albums
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8509003 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  John Adams  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Jénö Jandó,  Jürgen Schuster,  Idil Biret  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Marin Alsop,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Éder String Quartet,  Danubius String Quartet,  German Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 8.
    50 Best Film Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556483 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias,  Sabine Meyer,  Radu Lupu,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk,  André Previn,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Iain Sutherland  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Hungarian Quartet,  Il Giardino Armonico,  Concentus Musicus Wien
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  • 9.
    Label: Walt Disney Records   Catalog: 002236202 Release Date: 07/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Joel Pargman,  Doug Tornquist,  Alan Estes,  Erik Arvinder  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    CD: $15.99
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  • 10.
    Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage / White Star Chamber Orchestra & Chorus
    Label: Bsx   Catalog: 8905 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Horner,  Joohyun Park,  John T. Williams,  Maury Yeston  ... 
    Performer:  Katie Campbell,  Dominik Hauser,  Kristi Holden,  Dan Redfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Dan Redfeld,  Steven Ganci
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  • 11.
    Across the Stars: The Film Music of John Williams for Solo Piano / Redfeld
    Label: Planetworks   Catalog: 9115 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Dan Redfeld
    CD: $13.99
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  • 12.
    Siren Songs: Classic Film & TV Themes for Solo Voices & Orchestra
    Label: Planetworks   Catalog: 9116 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerry Goldsmith,  Basil Poledouris,  Javier Navarrete,  Philippe Sarde  ... 
    Performer:  Katie Campbell,  Karen Hogle Brown,  Zoe Poledouris,  Kristi Holden  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Meridian Studio Ensemble
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  • 13.
    Fiddler On The Roof [2016 Broadway Cast]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 4016 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerry Bock,  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Alexandra Silber,  Adam Kantor,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Ted Sperling
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  • 14.
    John Williams: The Complete Columbia Album Collection [58 CD + 1 DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 309294 Release Date: 03/04/2016   Number of Discs: 59
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Francisco Tarrega,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream,  Carlos Bonell,  Brian Gascoigne  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Daniel Barenboim,  John Williams,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta,  String Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    100 Best Film Classics [warner Classics]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553645 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Richard Strauss,  John T. Williams,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Gary Hoffman,  Gérard Caussé  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Rudolf Kempe,  Geoff Love,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Jean-Marie Leclair,  The Hungarian Quartet,  Il Giardino Armonico  ... 
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  • 16.
    Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 516730 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Spoken Word
    Performer:  John T. Williams,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices,  Harrison Ford
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    CD: $68.99
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  • 17.
    Star Wars: Ultimate Soundtrack [Vinyl]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875087451 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  John T. Williams
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    LP: $230.49
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  • 18.
    Berliner Philharmoniker - Waldbuhne 2015
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26097 Release Date: 12/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Scott Bradley,  Bronislaw Kaper,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Jerome Moross  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 19.
    Berliner Philharmoniker - Waldbuhne 2015 [Blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26097 Release Date: 12/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Scott Bradley,  Bronislaw Kaper,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Jerome Moross  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $28.99
    Blu-ray Video: $26.99
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  • 20.
    Hollywood Blockbusters, Vol. 2
    Label: Royal Philharmonic   Catalog: 50 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Powell,  John T. Williams,  Jóhann Jóhannsson,  Hans Zimmer  ... 
    Performer:  Duncan Riddell,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nic Raine,  James Fountain  ... 
    Conductor:  Nic Raine
    CD: $15.99
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  • 21.
    Prodigies
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552920 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Vittorio Monti,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Camille Berthollet,  Julie Berthollet,  Gautier Capuçon,  Guillaume Vincent
    Conductor:  Roberto Fores Veses
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    The Greatest Christmas Choral Classics
    Label: Silva Classics   Catalog: 6049 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Mykola Leontovych,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Performer:  Crouch End Festival Chorus,  The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Evan Jolly
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  • 23.
    Gabrieli / National Brass Ensemble
    Label: Oberlin Music   Catalog: 1504 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Gabrieli,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Brass Ensemble
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  • 24.
    A John Williams Celebration / Perlman, Dudamel, LA
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 730308 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel,  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $24.99
    DVD: $22.99
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  • 25.
    A John Williams Celebration / Perlman, Dudamel, LA [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 730404 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel,  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $34.99
    Blu-ray Video: $32.99
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