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
John Williams - The Seville Concert
Release Date: 03/27/2007   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4180   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bach: The Four Lute Suites / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 78738 Release Date: 08/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 27.
    Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez, Etc / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92610 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Joaquin Rodrigo
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 28.
    The Great Paraguayan - Guitar Music Of Barrios / Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92611 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 29.
    Simple Gifts / Bryn Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000477202 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Brackett,  Stanley Myers,  William Gould Tomer,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  John Williams,  Simon Keenlyside,  Aled Jones
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices
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  • 30.
    Guitar Recital - Bach, Sor, Turina, Tippett, Et Al / Bream
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1333 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Michael Tippett,  Joaquin Turina,  Fernando Sor  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream
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  • 31.
    Classical Cuisine - Asian Delights
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74755 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tan Dun,  Traditional,  Toru Takemitsu,  Wu Tong  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Utae Uno,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Shinichi Yuize  ... 
    Conductor:  Tan Dun,  James Conlon,  Robert Craft
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Silk Road Ensemble,  Orchestre de Paris Ensemble  ... 
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  • 32.
    Classical Cuisine - Spanish Spice
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92986 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Soler,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Isaac Albeniz,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Igor Kipnis,  John Williams
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Pierre Boulez,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 33.
    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  ... 
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  • 34.
    Masters Of The Guitar / Segovia, Williams, Romero, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000400402 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Antonio Lauro,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Mauro Giuliani  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander-Sergei Ramirez,  Göran Söllscher,  John Williams,  Pepe Romero  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Enrique Jorda,  George Malcolm,  Thomas Füri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Symphony of the Air,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Latin American Guitar Works / Fernandez, Romero, Et Al
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000344102 Release Date: 10/12/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Leo Brouwer,  Antonio Lauro  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander-Sergei Ramirez,  Eduardo Fernandez,  Pepe Romero,  John Williams
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  • 36.
    Guitar Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000250302 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandre Lagoya,  Ida Presti,  Pepe Romero,  Andrés Segovia  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Redel,  Kenneth Sillito,  Nick Ingman,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Budapest Film Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Gershwin - Super Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92388 Release Date: 05/04/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  Chestnut Brass Company,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    Expanded Edition - The Seville Concert / John Williams
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 90409 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Isaac Albeniz,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Nikita Koshkin  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  José Buenagu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seville Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Expanded Edition - The Guitarist / John Williams
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 90399 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  Salvatore Cardillo,  Isaac Albeniz,  Francisco Tarrega  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  William Goodchild
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 40.
    El Diablo Suelto - Guitar Music Of Venezuela / Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 90451 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfonso Montes,  Antonio Lauro,  Raul Borges,  Ignacio "Indio" Figueredo  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Alfonso Montes
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  • 41.
    The Ultimate Classical Christmas Album Of All Time
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 87771 Release Date: 10/01/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  John Williams,  Eileen Farrell,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Leonard Bernstein,  Richard Kapp,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christmas Concert Choir,  American Boychoir,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 42.
    Essential Guitar - 34 Guitar Masterpieces / Romero, Segovia
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470477 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Malcolm Arnold,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Manuel Enriquez  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandre Lagoya,  Eduardo Fernandez,  Andrés Segovia,  Pepe Romero  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida,  Barry Wordsworth,  Kenneth Sillito,  Enrique Jorda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 43.
    Music For You - What Does Your World Sound Like?
    Label: Legacy Recordings   Catalog: 89906 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Philip Glass,  Charles Koechlin  ... 
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kim Young Uck,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Michael Riesman,  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Philip Glass Ensemble,  Tal & Groethuysen Duo  ... 
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  • 44.
    The Magic Box / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89483 Release Date: 04/16/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Enoch Sontonga,  Francis Bebey,  Traditional,  Vasco Martins  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  African Children's Choir
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  • 45.
    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 T. Williams,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Spanish Guitar Music / John Williams
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89837 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Joaquin Turina,  Alonso de Mudarra,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 47.
    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 T. Williams,  David Zinman,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Shanghai Percussion Ensemble,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 48.
    Romance Of The Guitar / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89141 Release Date: 05/02/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Daniel Aloymias Robles  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  János Rolla,  Christine Pendrill,  Timothy Kain
    Conductor:  János Rolla,  Louis Frémaux,  John Williams,  William Goodchild
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Angelika Kirchschlager - When Night Falls
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64498 Release Date: 11/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim,  Richard Rodgers,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Angelika Kirchschlager,  John Williams,  Helmut Deutsch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Metropolitan Ensemble
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  • 50.
    A Lasting Inspiration / Jacqueline Du Pré
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65955 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gabriel Fauré,  Sir Edward Elgar,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Gerald Moore,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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