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
A John Williams Celebration / Perlman, Dudamel, LA [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 730404   Number of Discs: 1
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A John Williams Celebration / Perlman, Dudamel, LA
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 730308   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Star Wars, Episode 4 - A New Hope: Main Theme

Browse 1-25 of 29 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    100 Best Film 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:  Nicolai Gedda,  Ernest Blanc,  Augustin Dumay,  Gary Hoffman  ... 
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Saxophone Cinema
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 101852 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  John Barry,  Bernard Herrmann,  Michael Nyman  ... 
    Conductor:  Milan Turkovic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Selmer Saxharmonic
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  • 6.
    Music Of Steel - Heroic Themes From The Movies
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001871502 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Helen Watts,  Marilyn Tyler,  Birgit Nilsson,  Claudia Hellmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Sir Georg Solti,  Stanley Black,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 7.
    Ingolf Wunder 300
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001793002 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Raoul Koczalski  ... 
    Performer:  Ingolf Wunder
    CD: $21.99
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  • 8.
    The Greatest Classical Music Ever!: The Best Classical Music In The Movies Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04105 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Stanley Myers,  James Horner,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Steve Morse,  Manuel Barrueco,  James Horner,  David Abel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Riccardo Muti,  Iain Sutherland,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 9.
    Famous Film Scores - Steiner, Waxman, Korngold, Herrmann / Gerhardt, Steiner
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802104 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Walter W. Greene,  Alfred Newman  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Max Steiner,  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 10.
    John Williams & The Boston Pops - A Celebration
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001649302 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Vangelis,  Max Steiner,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    CD: $21.99
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  • 11.
    John Williams: Greatest Hits
    Label: Telos   Catalog: 165 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  Evan Christ
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Best Film 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31673 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  James Horner  ... 
    Performer:  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Gérard Caussé,  Augustin Dumay  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  Richard Hickox,  David Abel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 13.
    The Music Of America: John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 770636 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Judith LeClair
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $21.49
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  • 14.
    Pops In Space / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412884 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 15.
    Spectacular World Of Classic Film Scores / Gerhardt, National PO
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 2792 Release Date: 04/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernard Herrmann,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Franz Waxman,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Themes From Academy Award Winners
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60966 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Mancini,  Maurice Jarre,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Mancini,  Arthur Fiedler,  Charles Gerhardt,  David Raksin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mancini Chorus,  Mancini Orchestra,  Boston Pops  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 17.
    Star Wars - The Corellian Edition / John Williams, Lso
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 714047 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 18.
    Star Wars And Other Sci-fi Classics / Hayman, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555020 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Laurence Rosenthal,  Glen Larson,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hayman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Richard Hayman Orchestra
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 19.
    The Essential Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 77086 Release Date: 05/23/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $18.99
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  • 20.
    Encore! / John Williams, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000260602 Release Date: 06/15/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Vangelis,  Max Steiner,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Music Of John Williams - 40 Years Of Film Music
    Label: Prime Time   Catalog: 810 Release Date: 10/07/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  Mario Klemens,  Paul Bateman,  Nic Raine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Crouch End Festival Chorus
    CD: $42.99
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  • 22.
    Holst: The Planets / Mehta, La Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467418 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Master Chorale Women
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  • 23.
    Waterloo / The King's Division Waterloo Band
    Label: Bandleader   Catalog: 5161 Release Date: 10/10/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Mervin Addison,  Jeff Wayne,  Robert Muldowney,  Johnson,  ... 
    Performer:  Michelle Uttley
    Conductor:  Capt. R. Wayne Hopla
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Division Waterloo Band
    On sale! $22.99
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  • 24.
    John Williams - Greatest Hits 1969-1999
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 51333 Release Date: 11/02/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Leo Arnaud,  Leigh Harline
    Performer:  Toots Thielemans,  Itzhak Perlman,  Timothy Morrison,  Christopher Parkening  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Pops,  Skywalker Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Top 20 - The Very Best Of Erich Kunzel & The Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80401 Release Date: 09/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Brad Fiedel,  Traditional,  Eduard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Muckenfuss,  Paul Patterson,  Jeanne Dulaney,  Tim Berens  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Central State University Chorus
    CD: $16.99
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