John Williams

Composers

Biography

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

Stepping Stones / John Williams
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Jcw Recordings  
Catalog: 2   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 102 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Julian Bream - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546242 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Mateo Pérez de Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  George Malcolm,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Colin Davis,  André Previn,  David Atherton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Julian Bream Consort,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Essential Julian Bream
    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 Eliot Gardiner,  André Previn,  Leo Brouwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Julian Bream Consort
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  • 5.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 417202 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Van Cliburn,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Rutgers University Chorus
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  • 6.
    Jacqueline Du Pre - The Complete EMI Recordings [17-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 91934 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frederick Delius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim,  Gerald Moore,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    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  ... 
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  • 8.
    From A Bird / John Williams
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 99056 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  Turlough Carolan
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 9.
    The Original Jacket Collection - Julian Bream
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 731621 Release Date: 10/04/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Mateo Pérez de Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  John Williams,  George Malcolm,  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Julian Bream Consort
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  • 10.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris, The Man I Love / Tilson Thomas, Kostelantz
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64349 Release Date: 06/27/2011   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  ... 
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  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    The Beginning Of A Legend, Vol. 2
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6613 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Jorge Gomez Crespo,  Paquita Madriguera,  Francisco Tarrega  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Jose Rey de la Torre
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  • 13.
    Music Of Spain - Rodrigo, Falla, Albeniz / Williams, Entremont, Ormandy, Stokowski
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64340 Release Date: 04/23/2011   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
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  • 14.
    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
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  • 15.
    Waldbuhne Concert - Latin American Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4532 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Ernesto Lecuona,  Georges Bizet,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    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,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Itzhak Perlman,  Julian Bream
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 17.
    X2 John Williams - Baroque Album / Spanish Guitar Favorites
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 750533 Release Date: 07/07/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 18.
    John Williams Plays Spanish Guitar Music
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7529852 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Gaspar Sanz,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Federico Moreno-Torroba  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 19.
    Royal Opera Gala
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800952 Release Date: 03/06/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Josephine Veasey,  John Lanigan,  Joseph Rouleau  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Richard Bonynge,  Rafael Kubelik,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 20.
    A KDFC Classical Christmas 4
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74122 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Prizeman,  Jay Livingston,  Hector Berlioz,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Arturo Delmoni,  Luciano Pavarotti
    Conductor:  Robert Prizeman,  Jeffrey Thomas,  John Georgiadis,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Libera,  Canadian Brass,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 21.
    From Australia / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53361 Release Date: 07/23/2008   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
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  • 22.
    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 T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams,  André Previn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 23.
    Vivaldi's Greatest Hits / Bernstein, Ny Phil, Et Al
    Label: Cbs Composers'greatest Hits   Catalog: 45810 Release Date: 02/21/2008   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  ... 
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
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  • 25.
    Best Friends / Cleo Laine & John Williams
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60961 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Cleo Laine,  Brian Gascoigne,  David Gates  ... 
    Performer:  Cleo Laine,  John Williams
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