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 249 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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: $18.99
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  • 2.
    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:  Kristi Holden,  Dominik Hauser,  Katie Campbell,  Dan Redfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Dan Redfeld,  Steven Ganci
    CD: $12.99
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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
    CD: $13.99
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  • 5.
    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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    CD: $15.99
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  • 6.
    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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    CD: $138.49
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  • 7.
    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  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    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
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    CD: $68.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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: $25.99
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  • 11.
    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: $17.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    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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    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    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
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 16.
    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
    Blu-ray Video: $34.99
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  • 17.
    Five Sax At The Movies
    Label: Orlando Records (Classical)   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Shield,  Nino Rota,  Ennio Morricone,  Michael Giacchino  ... 
    Performer:  Rupert Struber,  Jacek Obstarczyk,  Mariam Vardzelashvili,  Zoltan Kiss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Five Sax
    CD: $18.99
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  • 18.
    Remembrances / Koornhof, van der Walt
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3476 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Paul Schoenfield,  John T. Williams,  William Bolcom  ... 
    Performer:  Truida Van Der Walt,  Piet Koornhof
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Schindler's List: The Film Music Of John Williams
    Label: Bsx   Catalog: 9103 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Carlos Gardel,  Jerry Bock
    Performer:  Elizabeth Hedman,  Donald Foster,  Dan Redfeld,  David Washburn  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    Air Force Blue
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573405 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Thurston,  Joel Puckett,  Philip Wilby,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Larry H. Lang,  Scott A. Guidry
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    Montage - Great Film Composers and the Piano / Gloria Cheng
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907635 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bruce Broughton,  Michael Giacchino,  Don [Film Scores] Davis,  Alexandre Desplat  ... 
    Performer:  Gloria Cheng
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 22.
    The Very Best Movie Soundtracks By John Williams
    Label: Telos   Catalog: 210 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  Evan Christ
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Die 12 Cellisten Der Berliner Philharmoniker: Recordings 1978-2010
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 620749 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  David Delacroix,  Jocelyn B. Smith,  Hans-Dieter Lorenz,  Franz Schindelbeck  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Halsey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic,  Berlin Radio Chorus members
    On sale! $59.96
    CD: $48.99
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  • 24.
    The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines - 350th Anniversary Celebration
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 308729 Release Date: 11/04/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Henry Russell,  Traditional,  Gustav Holst,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Moloney
    Conductor:  Lt. Col. N. J. Grace,  Sir Vivian Dunn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Her Majesty's Royal Marines Band
    CD: $124.99
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  • 25.
    Movie Legends: The Music Of John Williams
    Label: Royal Philharmonic   Catalog: 21 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Rolf Wilson
    Conductor:  Tolga Kashif,  Nic Raine,  Nick Ingman,  Paul Bateman
    CD: $17.99
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