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 51-75 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Essential Jessye Norman
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000328300 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Pietro Mascagni,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Neil Shicoff,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Irwin Gage  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Sir Colin Davis,  Semyon Bychkov,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Orchestra d'Ile de France,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris Chorus  ... 
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  • 52.
    Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope [hyper Cd]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92950 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Star Wars Trilogy [box]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93451 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
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  • 54.
    The Millennium Collection - The Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000306002 Release Date: 08/03/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Lai,  John Philip Sousa,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Karol,  André Come
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 55.
    Encore! / John Williams, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000260602 Release Date: 06/15/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Leonard Bernstein,  Frederick Loewe,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Boston Pops
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 56.
    America's Greatest Hits
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000233702 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  John Philip Sousa,  Edwin Eugene Bagley,  Arthur Phillips  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Luxon,  David Willison
    Conductor:  Eric Rogers,  Frederick Fennell,  Rodney Bashford,  John Williams  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eric Rogers Chorale,  Eric Rogers Orchestra,  Eastman Wind Ensemble  ... 
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  • 57.
    Brass - Super Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92390 Release Date: 05/04/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Daniel Friedrich,  Leos Janácek,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Conductor:  E. Power Biggs,  John Williams,  Lorin Maazel,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic Brass,  Canadian Brass,  New England Brass Ensemble  ... 
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  • 58.
    Gershwin Without Words / Black, Fennell, Williams, Dutoit
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000215602 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Robert Russell Bennett
    Performer:  Stanley Black
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Charles Dutoit,  Frederick Fennell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Gershwin: Piano Concerto, Etc / Szidon, Josefowicz, Williams
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000218202 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Roberto Szidon,  Leila Josefowicz,  John Novacek,  David Parkhouse
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Edward Downes,  Riccardo Chailly,  Bernard Herrmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Gershwin - Greatest Hits
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000191902 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  André Previn,  Werner Haas
    Conductor:  John Williams,  André Previn,  Charles Dutoit,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Debussy - Greatest Hits
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000069302 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Pascal Rogé,  Julian Lloyd Webber
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Pierre Boulez,  Ernest Ansermet,  John Williams  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Enduring Freedom - America's Greatest Hits
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000065802 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  L. Russell Brown,  John Stafford Smith,  John Philip Sousa,  Edwin Eugene Bagley  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Benjamin Luxon,  David Willison,  Marilyn Horne
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Eric Rogers,  Frederick Fennell,  Douglas A. Pope  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Annunzio Paolo Mantovani Chorus,  Mantovani & His Orchestra,  Eric Rogers Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Star Wars 2: Attack Of The Clones (Score) / O.s.t.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89932 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Classic Perlman - Rhapsody
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89449 Release Date: 04/02/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Ernest Chausson,  Andrea Morricone,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Earl Carlyss,  Joel Krosnick,  Samuel Rhodes  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Yo-yo Ma Plays The Music Of John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89670 Release Date: 02/19/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Recording Arts Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Mark Twain's America
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470513 Release Date: 01/15/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Irving Berlin,  Scott Joplin,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Morten Gunnar Larsen,  Simon Estes,  Benjamin Luxon,  David Willison  ... 
    Conductor:  Lt. Col. Fred J. Harris,  Antal Doráti,  Stanley Black,  Willie Anthony Waters  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  New York Philharmonic members,  Canadian Brass  ... 
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  • 67.
    Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
    Label: Atlantic   Catalog: 83491 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
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  • 68.
    Classic Yo-yo / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89667 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joseph Brackett,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Alison Krauss,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Ton Koopman,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai National Orchestra,  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Recording Arts Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    Williams: Treesong, Violin Concerto / Shaham, Williams, Boston SO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471326 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Performer:  Gil Shaham
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Classical Hits / Brightman, Church, Ma, Pavarotti, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89702 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mark O'Connor,  Tan Dun,  Carl Orff,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Mark O'Connor,  Edgar Meyer,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Joshua Bell  ... 
    Conductor:  Tan Dun,  John Williams,  David Zinman,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Shanghai Percussion Ensemble,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 71.
    Eloquence - American Classics - Copland, Etc / Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468156 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Henry Mancini,  John Williams,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 72.
    NBC Presents Summon The Heroes / Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89434 Release Date: 08/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  Vangelis,  Josef Suk,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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  • 73.
    Angela's Ashes
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89009 Release Date: 12/07/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams
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  • 74.
    John Williams - Greatest Hits 1969-1999
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 51333 Release Date: 11/02/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leigh Harline,  Leo Arnaud,  John Williams
    Performer:  Timothy Morrison,  Itzhak Perlman,  Tommy Morgan,  Dean Parks  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Boychoir,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus,  Boston Pops  ... 
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  • 75.
    Cinema Serenade 2 - The Golden Age / Perlman, Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60773 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Chaplin,  Sir William Walton,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Victor Young  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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