John Williams

Composers

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 26-50 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 27.
    X2 Joshua Bell: Bernstein - Gershwin / Williams, Zinman, Philharmonia, Lso
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 750529 Release Date: 07/07/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Alexander Courage,  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams,  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Sleepers - Original Soundtrack
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454998 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Andre Previn - An 80th Birthday Celebration
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 747250 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Previn,  George Gershwin,  Kurt Weill,  Ray Henderson  ... 
    Performer:  Joe Henderson,  Kenny Kirkland,  Terence Blanchard,  Reginald Veal  ... 
    Conductor:  J. A. C. Redford,  John Williams,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Indiana Jones - The Soundtracks Collection / John Williams, LSO
    Label: Concord Records   Catalog: 31000 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Pops Around The World / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 400071 Release Date: 11/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  John Williams,  Mikhail Glinka,  Daniel-François Auber  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 32.
    That's Entertainment / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416499 Release Date: 11/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Burns,  Stephen Sondheim,  Jerry Bock,  Jule Styne  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 33.
    Bernstein By Boston
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416360 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 34.
    Pops On The March / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420804 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Alfred Newman,  Ray Bauduc,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 35.
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412554 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  John Williams
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  • 36.
    Holst: The Planets / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420177 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 37.
    Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull / Original Soundtrack
    Label: Concord Records   Catalog: 30825 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
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  • 38.
    Original Jacket Collection - Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 721741 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Charles Chaplin,  Sir William Walton,  Michel Legrand,  John Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  André Previn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Pops Britannia / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420946 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Traditional,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 40.
    The Music Of Star Wars - 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 714114 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Skywalker Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    The Ultimate Classical Christmas / Ma, Domingo, Battle
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 714332 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Traditional,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  Kathleen Battle,  Marilyn Horne,  Michael Bolton  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  John Williams,  Jerold Ottley,  Steven Mercurio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  American Boychoir,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 42.
    Star Wars - The Corellian Edition / John Williams, Lso
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 714047 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 43.
    The Essential Joshua Bell
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 707416 Release Date: 04/03/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy,  Karl Goldmark  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams,  Frederic Chiu,  Simon Mulligan  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Michael Stern,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Pops By George - The Music Of Gershwin / Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426404 Release Date: 03/15/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Misha Dichter
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 45.
    The Essential Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 77086 Release Date: 05/23/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    The Joshua Bell Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 77136 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  George Gershwin,  Alexander Courage,  John Corigliano
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  George Gershwin,  John Williams,  Eddie Hession  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  John Williams,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Shanghai Film Studio Children's Chorus
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  • 47.
    The Jessye Norman Collection - The Songbooks / Williams
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000450702 Release Date: 05/10/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Leonard Bernstein,  Kurt Weill,  Michel Legrand  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Jessye Norman
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 48.
    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith / Williams, LSO
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 94220 Release Date: 05/03/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices
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  • 49.
    Classical Cuisine - American Barbeque
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92988 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Morton Gould,  Samuel Barber,  William Schuman  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Conductor:  Aaron Copland,  Eugene Ormandy,  Thomas Schippers,  Andre Kostelanetz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 50.
    The Ultimate Guitar Collection / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93959 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Enoch Sontonga,  John Williams,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Richard Harvey,  Chris Laurence,  János Rolla  ... 
    Conductor:  William Goodchild,  János Rolla,  Christopher Gunning,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  African Children's Choir,  Orchestra,  Franz Liszt Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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