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John Williams | Steven Spielberg: Bio

In a career that spans five decades, John Williams has become one of America's most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage. He has served as music director and laureate conductor of one of the country's treasured musical institutions, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he maintains thriving artistic relationships with many of the world's great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Williams has received a variety of prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honor, the Olympic Order, and numerous Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. He remains one of our nation's most distinguished and contributive musical voices.

Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than one hundred films. His 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood's most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler's List, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, four Indiana Jones films, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Munich, Hook, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Empire of the Sun, The Adventures of TinTin and War Horse. Their latest collaboration, The BFG, was released on July 1, 2016. Mr. Williams has composed the scores for all seven Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman: The Movie, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Memoirs of a Geisha, Far and Away, The Accidental Tourist, Home Alone, Nixon, The Patriot, Angela's Ashes, Seven Years in Tibet, The Witches of Eastwick, Rosewood, Sleepers, Sabrina, Presumed Innocent, The Cowboys and The Reivers, among many others. He has worked with many legendary directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler and Robert Altman. In 1971, he adapted the score for the film version of Fiddler on the Roof, for which he composed original violin cadenzas for renowned virtuoso Isaac Stern. He has appeared on recordings as pianist and conductor with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman and others. Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards and 50 Oscar nominations, making him the Academy's most-nominated living person and the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars. His most recent nomination was for the film Star War: The Force Awakens. He also has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), 22 Grammys, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records.

Born and raised in New York, Mr. Williams moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948, where he studied composition with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, he returned to New York to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist, both in nightclubs and on recordings. He returned to Los Angeles and began his career in the film industry, working with a number of accomplished composers including Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for more than 200 television episodes for anthology series Alcoa Premiere, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Chrysler Theatre and Playhouse 90. His more recent contributions to television music include the well-known theme for NBC Nightly News ("The Mission"), the theme for what has become network television's longest-running series, NBC's Meet the Press, and a new theme for the prestigious PBS arts showcase Great Performances.

In addition to his activity in film and television, Mr. Williams has composed numerous works for the concert stage, among them two symphonies, and concertos for flute, violin, clarinet, viola, oboe and tuba. His cello concerto was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered by Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood in 1994. Mr. Williams also has filled commissions by several of the world's leading orchestras, including a bassoon concerto for the New York Philharmonic entitled The Five Sacred Trees, a trumpet concerto for the Cleveland Orchestra, and a horn concerto for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Seven for Luck, a seven-piece song cycle for soprano and orchestra based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, was premiered by the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1998. At the opening concert of their 2009–2010 season, James Levine led the Boston Symphony in the premiere Mr. Williams' On Willows and Birches, a concerto for harp and orchestra.

In January 1980, Mr. Williams was named nineteenth music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra, succeeding the legendary Arthur Fiedler. He currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor which he assumed following his retirement in December 1993, after 14 highly successful seasons. He also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.

One of America's best known and most distinctive artistic voices, Mr. Williams has composed music for many important cultural and commemorative events. Liberty Fanfare was composed for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. American Journey, written to celebrate the new millennium and to accompany the retrospective film The Unfinished Journey by director Steven Spielberg, was premiered at the "America's Millennium" concert in Washington, D.C. on New Year's Eve, 1999. His orchestral work Soundings was performed at the celebratory opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In the world of sport, he has contributed musical themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and the 1987 International Summer Games of the Special Olympics. In 2006, Mr. Williams composed the theme for NBC's presentation of NFL Football.

Mr. Williams holds honorary degrees from 21 American universities, including The Juilliard School, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, The Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. He is a recipient of the 2009 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. In 2003, he received the Olympic Order, the IOC's highest honor, for his contributions to the Olympic movement. He served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor in December of 2004. Mr. Williams was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009, and in January of that same year he composed and arranged Air and Simple Gifts especially for the first inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama.

 

Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer.

 

Steven Allan Spielberg was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Leah Frances (Posner), a concert pianist and restaurateur, and Arnold Spielberg, an electrical engineer who worked in computer development. His parents were both born to Russian Jewish immigrant families. Steven spent his younger years in Haddon Township, New Jersey, Phoenix, Arizona, and later Saratoga, California. He went to California State University Long Beach, but dropped out to pursue his entertainment career. He gained notoriety as an uncredited assistant editor on the classic western Wagon Train (1957). Among his early directing efforts were Battle Squad (1961), which combined World War II footage with footage of an airplane on the ground that he makes you believe is moving. He also directed Escape to Nowhere (1961), which featured children as World War Two soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg, and The Last Gun (1959), a western. All of these were short films. The next couple of years, Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would portend his future career in movies. In 1964, he directed Firelight (1964), a movie about aliens invading a small town. In 1967, he directed Slipstream (1967), which was unfinished. However, in 1968, he directed Amblin' (1968), which featured the desert prominently, and not the first of his movies in which the desert would feature so prominently. Amblin' also became the name of his production company, which turned out such classics as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Spielberg had a unique and classic early directing project, Duel (1971), with Dennis Weaver. In the early 1970s, Spielberg was working on TV, directing among others such series as Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1969), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) and Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971). All of his work in television and short films, as well as his directing projects, were just a hint of the wellspring of talent that would dazzle audiences all over the world.

Spielberg's first major directorial effort was The Sugarland Express (1974), with Goldie Hawn, a film that marked him as a rising star. It was his next effort, however, that made him an international superstar among directors: Jaws (1975). This classic shark attack tale started the tradition of the summer blockbuster or, at least, he was credited with starting the tradition. His next film was the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), a unique and original UFO story that remains a classic. In 1978, Spielberg produced his first film, the forgettable I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), and followed that effort with Used Cars (1980), a critically acclaimed, but mostly forgotten, Kurt Russell\\Jack Warden comedy about devious used-car dealers. Spielberg hit gold yet one more time with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), with Harrison Ford taking the part of Indiana Jones. Spielberg produced and directed two films in 1982. The first was Poltergeist (1982), but the highest-grossing movie of all time up to that point was the alien story E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Spielberg also helped pioneer the practice of product placement. The concept, while not uncommon, was still relatively low-key when Spielberg raised the practice to almost an art form with his famous (or infamous) placement of Reece's Pieces in "E.T." Spielberg was also one of the pioneers of the big-grossing special-effects movies, like "E.T." and "Close Encounters", where a very strong emphasis on special effects was placed for the first time on such a huge scale. In 1984, Spielberg followed up "Raiders" with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), which was a commercial success but did not receive the critical acclaim of its predecessor. As a producer, Spielberg took on many projects in the 1980s, such as The Goonies (1985), and was the brains behind the little monsters in Gremlins (1984). He also produced the cartoon An American Tail (1986), a quaint little animated classic. His biggest effort as producer in 1985, however, was the blockbuster Back to the Future (1985), which made Michael J. Fox an instant superstar. As director, Spielberg took on the book The Color Purple (1985), with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, with great success. In the latter half of the 1980s, he also directed Empire of the Sun (1987), a mixed success for the occasionally erratic Spielberg. Success would not escape him for long, though.

The late 1980s found Spielberg's projects at the center of pop-culture yet again. In 1988, he produced the landmark animation/live-action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). The next year proved to be another big one for Spielberg, as he produced and directed Always (1989) as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Back to the Future Part II (1989). All three of the films were box-office and critical successes. Also, in 1989, he produced the little known comedy-drama Dad (1989), with Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson, which got mostly mixed results. Spielberg has also had an affinity for animation and has been a strong voice in animation in the 1990s. Aside from producing the landmark "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", he produced the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), Animaniacs (1993), Pinky and the Brain (1995), Freakazoid! (1995), Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain (1998), Family Dog (1993) and Toonsylvania (1998). Spielberg also produced other cartoons such as The Land Before Time (1988), We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), Casper (1995) (the live action version) as well as the live-action version of The Flintstones (1994), where he was credited as "Steven Spielrock". Spielberg also produced many Roger Rabbit short cartoons, and many Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs and Tiny Toons specials. Spielberg was very active in the early 1990s, as he directed Hook (1991) and produced such films as the cute fantasy Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991). He also produced the unusual comedy thriller Arachnophobia (1990), Back to the Future Part III (1990) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). While these movies were big successes in their own right, they did not quite bring in the kind of box office or critical acclaim as previous efforts. In 1993, Spielberg directed Jurassic Park (1993), which for a short time held the record as the highest grossing movie of all time, but did not have the universal appeal of his previous efforts. Big box-office spectacles were not his only concern, though. He produced and directed Schindler's List (1993), a stirring film about the Holocaust. He won best director at the Oscars, and also got Best Picture. In the mid-90s, he helped found the production company DreamWorks, which was responsible for many box-office successes.

As a producer, he was very active in the late 90s, responsible for such films as The Mask of Zorro (1998), Men in Black (1997) and Deep Impact (1998). However, it was on the directing front that Spielberg was in top form. He directed and produced the epic Amistad (1997), a spectacular film that was shorted at the Oscars and in release due to the fact that its release date was moved around so much in late 1997. The next year, however, produced what many believe was one of the best films of his career: Saving Private Ryan (1998), a film about World War Two that is spectacular in almost every respect. It was stiffed at the Oscars, losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love (1998).

Spielberg produced a series of films, including Evolution (2001), The Haunting (1999) and Shrek (2001). he also produced two sequels to Jurassic Park (1993), which were financially but not particularly critical successes. In 2001, he produced a mini-series about World War Two that definitely *was* a financial and critical success: Band of Brothers (2001), a tale of an infantry company from its parachuting into France during the invasion to the Battle of the Bulge. Also in that year, Spielberg was back in the director's chair for A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), a movie with a message and a huge budget. It did reasonably at the box office and garnered varied reviews from critics.

Spielberg has been extremely active in films there are many other things he has done as well. He produced the short-lived TV series SeaQuest 2032 (1993), an anthology series entitled Amazing Stories (1985), created the video-game series "Medal of Honor" set during World War Two, and was a starting producer of ER (1994). Spielberg, if you haven't noticed, has a great interest in World War Two. He and Tom Hanks collaborated on Shooting War (2000), a documentary about World War II combat photographers, and he produced a documentary about the Holocaust called Eyes of the Holocaust (2000). With all of this to Spielberg's credit, it's no wonder that he's looked at as one of the greatest ever figures in entertainment.

John Williams | Steven Spielberg

The Ultimate Collection

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1 Raiders March from "Raiders of the Lost Ark"  
2 Theme from "Always"  
3 Adventures on Earth from "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"  
4 Theme from "Sugarland Express"  
5 Title Theme from "Jaws"  
6 Out to Sea / The Shark Cage Fugue from "Jaws"  
7 Exsultate Justi from "Empire of the Sun"  
8 Parade of the Slave Children from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"  
9 Over the Moon from "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial"  
10 March from "1941"  
11 Cadillac of the Skies from "Empire of the Sun"  
12 Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"  
13 Close Encounters of the Third Kind/When You Wish Upon a Star Medley  
14 Flying from "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"  
15 Theme From "Jurassic Park"  
16 Remembrances from "Schindler's List"  
17 Flight to Neverland from "Hook"  
18 The Battle Of Hollywood From "1941"  
19 Smee's Plan From "Hook"  
20 The Barrel Chase From "Jaws"  
21 My Friend,The Brachiosaurus from "Jurassic Park"  
22 Jim's New Life From "Empire Of The Sun"  
23 The Dialogue From "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind"  
24 The Lost Boys Ballet From "Hook"  
25 Theme from "Schindler's List"  
26 The Basket Chase from "Raiders Of The Lost Ark"  
27 The Face Of Pan from "Hook"  
28 The Banquet Scene from "Hook"  
29 The Adventures of Mutt from "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"  
30 Dry Your Tears, Afrika from "Amistad"  
31 The BFG from "The BFG"  
32 With Malice Toward None from "Lincoln"  
33 The Duel from "The Adventures of Tintin"  
34 A New Beginning from "Minority Report"  
35 Movement 1: Closing In  
36 Movement 2: Reflections  
37 Movement 3: Joy Ride  
38 Marion's Theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark"  
39 Hymn to the Fallen from "Saving Private Ryan"  
40 Dartmoor, 1912 from "War Horse"  
41 Viktor's Tale from "The Terminal"  
42 Prayer for Peace from "Munich"  
43 Immigration and Building from "The Unfinished Journey"  
44 With Malice Toward None from "Lincoln"  
45 Steven Spielberg & John Williams: The Adventure Continues  

Celebrating one of the most definitive and beloved partnerships in the history of motion pictures, John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection delivers an essential sampling of Williams's musical scores for Spielberg's films – a critically acclaimed, award-winning, chart-topping collaboration now in its fifth decade. Comprised of a three-CD set and bonus DVD, this collection brings together Williams's two previous discs of his music for Spielberg films, which he recorded with the Boston Pops Orchestra for Sony Classical: The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration (1991) and Williams on Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores (1995). Those discs include music from Sugarland Express (1974) through Jurassic Park andSchindler's List (1993).

8 NEW  59 TOTAL
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Crossover Media Projects with: John Williams | Steven Spielberg