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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
Browse 51-75 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    John Williams - Giuliani, Schubert / Tognetti, Australian Co
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63385 Release Date: 04/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mauro Giuliani,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  Richard Tognetti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Musica Española - Guitar Music Vol 2 /Bonell, Fernandez, Etc
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433935 Release Date: 11/05/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Joaquin Turina,  Miguel Llobet,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  Eduardo Fernandez,  Carlos Bonell,  Timothy Walker,  John Williams
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Musica Espanola - Guitar Music Vol 1 / Gomez, Fernandez, Etc
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433932 Release Date: 11/02/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Enrique Granados,  Francisco Tarrega,  Fernando Sor  ... 
    Performer:  Carlos Bonell,  Eduardo Fernandez,  John Williams,  Timothy Walker  ... 
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  • 55.
    John Williams - The Guitarist
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60586 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  Erik Satie,  Philip Houghton,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  William Goodchild
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 56.
    John Williams Plays The Movies
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63000 Release Date: 04/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bob Telson,  Luis Enriquez Bacalov,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Brendan Power,  John Williams,  Kenneth Sillito,  Nicole Tibbels  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Fontaine,  Nick Ingman,  Christopher Gunning,  Steve Gray  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Pachelbel - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62680 Release Date: 10/29/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Pachelbel,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  E. Power Biggs,  Raymond Leppard,  Gustav Leonhardt,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Zoltan Rosznyai,  Enoch zu Guttenberg,  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Chamber Orchestra,  Hessian Radio Chorus Frankfurt,  Hessian Radio Orchestra Frankfurt  ... 
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  • 58.
    Guitar Recital / John Williams
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 452173 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Lauro,  Isaac Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 59.
    Guitar Recital - Paganini, Scarlatti, Et Al / John Williams
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62425 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Mauro Giuliani,  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 60.
    Harvey, Gray: Guitar Concertos / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68337 Release Date: 02/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Harvey,  Steve Gray
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    From The Jungles Of Paraguay - John Williams Plays Barrios
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64396 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 62.
    Baroque - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66706 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Eugenia Earle,  Sol Goichberg,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann,  Max Goberman,  Jean-Claude Malgoire,  Hartmut Haenchen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Sinfonietta,  Westminster Cathedral Choir  ... 
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  • 63.
    Mozart Makes You Smarter
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 66245 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  John Williams,  Andreas Haefliger,  Arthur Gold,  Robert Fizdale  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  János Rolla,  George Szell,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  L'Archibudelli,  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    John Williams - The Seville Concert
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53359 Release Date: 02/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Nikita Koshkin,  Yuquijiro Yocoh  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  José Buenagu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seville Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Together / Julian Bream, John Williams
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61450 Release Date: 05/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Ravel,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream
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  • 66.
    Together Again / Julian Bream, John Williams
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61452 Release Date: 05/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Johnson,  Claude Debussy,  Enrique Granados,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  John Williams
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  • 67.
    Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez, Etc / John Williams
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48168 Release Date: 06/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Mauro Giuliani,  Joaquin Rodrigo
    Performer:  Colin Tilney,  John Williams
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Sir Charles Groves,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra members
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  • 68.
    Takemitsu: To The Edge Of Dream / Williams, Salonen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46720 Release Date: 01/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  John Williams,  Gareth Hulse,  Sebastian Bell
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
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  • 69.
    John Williams Plays Vivaldi Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46556 Release Date: 06/14/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  John Williams,  Norbert Blume,  Zsuzsa Pertis,  Mária Frank  ... 
    Conductor:  János Rolla
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Spanish Guitar Music / John Williams
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46347 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Turina,  Alonso de Mudarra,  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 71.
    Webern: Complete Works Op 1-31 / Pierre Boulez
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45845 Release Date: 02/08/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anton Webern
    Performer:  Halina Lukomska,  Charles Rosen,  Daniel Majeske,  Abraham Weinstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Webern,  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 72.
    Vivaldi, Giuliani, Rodrigo: Guitar Concertos / John Williams
    Label: Cbs Odyssey   Catalog: 45610 Release Date: 01/14/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Duos For Violin & Guitar / Perlman, Williams
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 34508 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Mauro Giuliani
    Performer:  John Williams,  Itzhak Perlman
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  • 74.
    Echoes Of London / John Williams
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42119 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carroll Coates,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Hubert Gregg,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  William Goodchild
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Echoes Of Spain - Albeniz / John Williams
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 36679 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz
    Performer:  John Williams
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