John Williams



Born: 1941  
John Williams, classical guitar virtuoso, is known for his wide-ranging approach to repertory, which includes appearances playing electric rock guitar and international music. John's father Leonard (Len) Williams was an accomplished guitarist who emigrated from Britain to Australia, married a Melbourne woman of Chinese-British descent, and was best known there for his jazz playing. As he taught John to play guitar, it soon became apparent that Read more the boy was a gifted guitarist, and the family planned to move back to London so that he could pursue further studies. To afford the trip, Len Williams took an additional job as a hippo-keeper at the Melbourne Zoo.
They eventually moved to London in 1952. John performed at Conway Hall in London in 1955, making enough of an impression that the famous guitarist Andrés Segovia invited John to study at his courses at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. John accepted and became a student of the pioneering guitar soloist from 1957 to 1959.
Williams made his official debut at London's Wigmore Hall in 1958, and received reviews that noted a strong, clean tone and a polished though undemonstrative technique. However, Williams does not give Segovia or his other official teachers a large share of the credit for his technique. He says that most of these teachers were too "authoritarian" in their approach, not excluding Segovia who, he says, had a tendency to expect his pupils to adopt his interpretive "mannerisms," and would get quite angry when they didn't. The guitarist with whom he formed the closest association is Julian Bream, a fellow student of Segovia. Bream has often appeared in concert and on recordings as a guitar duo with Williams.
Williams has toured throughout the world. He has performed and recorded nearly the entire standard guitar repertory, plus a large quantity of transcriptions. Several of these transcriptions are by his own hand. He was a professor of guitar at the Royal College of Music in London from 1960 to 1973. However, he also has a strong tendency to explore music outside the classical tradition. He does session work on film soundtracks, has arranged Beatles songs, and plays electric guitar in Sky, a classical-rock fusion band. He has also formed his own ensembles, John Williams and Friends and Attacca, to explore other music. On a CD release called The Guitarist, he uses Turkish and Greek rhythms and harmonies to support Medieval music. The 2002 album, The Magic Box, examines African music. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 59 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    John Williams plays Bach
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075816392 Release Date: 05/25/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 2.
    Esa-Pekka Salonen: The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985471842 Release Date: 05/04/2018   Number of Discs: 61
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gustav Mahler,  Béla Bartók,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Alexys Schwartz,  Joshua Bell,  Phyllis Bryn-Julson  ... 
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 3.
    Daniel Barenboim: A Retrospective / Various
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985393632 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 46
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Stamitz  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Saschko Gawriloff,  Halina Lukomska,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Art of Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518338 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet
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  • 5.
    Harvey: Plague and the Moonflower
    Label: Altus Records (Wyastone Sub)   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Harvey
    Performer:  Richard Studt,  Ben Kingsley,  Eamonn O'Dwyer,  Roger Chase  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Harvey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford New College Choir,  New London Children's Choir,  English Chamber Choir
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  • 6.
    Albeniz; Granados: Spanish Guitar Music / Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88697720782 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Enrique Granados
    Performer:  John Williams,  Timothy Kain
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  • 7.
    Guitar Magician / John Williams
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1253 Release Date: 07/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Manuel Ponce,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Jorge Gomez Crespo  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 8.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301333 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 67
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alexander Scriabin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dönch,  Isabel Strauss,  Walter Berry,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Anton Webern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 9.
    Label: Jcw Recordings   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Stephen Goss,  Horacio Salinas,  Ross Edwards
    Performer:  John Williams,  Horacio Durán,  Richard Harvey,  Caroline Dale
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
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  • 10.
    From A Bird
    Label: Jcw Recordings   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  Traditional,  Turlough O'Carolan
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 11.
    Stepping Stones / John Williams
    Label: Jcw Recordings   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yuquijiro Yocoh,  Stephen Goss,  Frederic Hand,  Philip Houghton  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 12.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & more...
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    The Essential Julian Bream [2013]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 374696 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Luigi Boccherini,  Mauro Giuliani  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  George Malcolm,  John Williams
    Conductor:  John E. Gardiner,  André Previn,  Leo Brouwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Julian Bream Consort
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  • 14.
    The Sound Of Jacqueline Du Pre
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 91975 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Robert Schumann,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Stephen Kovacevich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 15.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris, The Man I Love / Tilson Thomas, Kostelantz
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64349 Release Date: 06/02/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  George Gershwin,  Harold Jones,  Sarah Vaughan,  George Gaffney  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Morton Gould,  Andre Kostelanetz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Jazz Band,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 16.
    John Williams - The Guitarist
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88082 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Silvius Leopold Weiss  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream
    Conductor:  William Goodchild,  János Rolla,  Richard Tognetti,  Louis Frémaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra,  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Music Of Spain - Rodrigo, Falla, Albeniz / Williams, Entremont, Ormandy, Stokowski
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64340 Release Date: 04/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Shirley Verrett,  Teresa Llacuna,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski,  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez, Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre; Villa-Lobos / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 69054 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Heitor Villa-Lobos
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    John Williams - Original Album Classics
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 756166 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Itzhak Perlman,  Julian Bream
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    From Australia / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53361 Release Date: 06/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Sculthorpe,  Nigel Westlake
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 21.
    Vivaldi's Greatest Hits / Bernstein, Ny Phil, Et Al
    Label: Cbs Composers'greatest Hits   Catalog: 45810 Release Date: 02/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Patrice Fontanarosa,  Lorin Maazel,  Régis Pasquier,  John Corigliano Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jean-Claude Malgoire  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Instrumental Ensemble,  New York Philharmonic,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 22.
    The #1 Guitar Album - Segovia, Romero, Bream, Lagoya, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001041302 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  John Dowland,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Andrés Segovia,  Göran Söllscher,  Pepe Romero,  Ida Presti  ... 
    Conductor:  Kenneth Sillito,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Nick Ingman,  Mats Rondin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Budapest Film Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 23.
    Best Friends / Cleo Laine & John Williams
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60961 Release Date: 11/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Cleo Laine,  Brian Gascoigne,  David Gates  ... 
    Performer:  Cleo Laine,  John Williams
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 25.
    John Williams - The Seville Concert
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4180 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Isaac Albeniz,  Nikita Koshkin,  Yuquijiro Yocoh  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  José Buenagu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seville Symphony Orchestra
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