- "Once again, John Williams has exceeded my expectations and produced a lavish, rich, moving and thrilling score. Every fan of Star Wars—and of great music—is in his debt."
- ―George Lucas
John Towner Williams was born on February 8, 1932, in Floral Park, New York, USA. His father was a jazz drummer and percussionist in the CBS Radio Orchestra and the Raymond Scott Quintette. After moving to Los Angeles in 1948, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles City College, where he studied orchestration under MGM musical associate Robert van Eps and was privately tutored by composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
In 1952, he was drafted into the United States Air Force, spending the next two years conducting and arranging music for Air Force bands. Afterwards, he went to the famous music school Juilliard in New York, where he was able to improve his piano performance skills under the tutelage of the renowned Madame Rosina Levinne. Later, he returned to Los Angeles and worked as a piano player for film studios. In 1956, he became a staff arranger at Columbia Pictures, and then at 20th Century Fox. His combined dream of music and film were merged.
As "Johnny" Williams, he composed music to such classic TV series as Wagon Train, Gilligan's Island, and Bachelor Father. These works paved the way for him to Irwin Allen's Lost in Space.
He achieved success with None But the Brave (1965), followed by an Oscar nomination for Valley of the Dolls in 1968. Four years later, he won the Oscars for Best Music, Scoring Adaptation, and Original Song Score for Fiddler on the Roof. Much of what he worked on won him awards and nominations. He became one of the most popular composers and was mentioned with talent equal to Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, and Elmer Bernstein. He had six nominations within five years, among them two double-nominations in 1969 and 1972 for the films Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Rievers, Images, The Poseidon Adventure, Cinderella Liberty, and Hell Tower.
In 1974, he met Steven Spielberg, then just a novice director, who asked him to write music for The Sugarland Express. For their next film, Jaws, Williams created frightening compositions that convincingly expressed the approach of the shark and set a basic feeling for the film. John Williams was pivotal to the huge success of the movie, which earned him his first Academy Award for Best Original Score.
In 1977, he composed the music for Star Wars, which turned out to be a huge success. Star Wars became the best selling score-only soundtrack of all time and won him yet another Oscar. The lush sound of the London Symphony Orchestra made the music and the space-war story memorable.
Throughout the years, Williams' longtime collaboration with Spielberg had earned him two more Oscars for his scores to E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Schindler's List.
He was also contracted to write the music for the Olympic Games.
With 46 Academy Award nominations to date, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person.
Rick McCallum stated at Star Wars Reunion II that he had hoped to have John Williams on the musical score for the Star Wars live-action TV series and added that each episode would have had its own original score.
Some of his most notable work includes many of the works of Steven Spielberg.
Star Wars workEdit
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Limited Collector's Edition
- The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
- Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 146
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: Matthew Woodring Stover"—Star Wars Insider 149
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 Awards. The John Williams Web Pages (2006-06-05). Retrieved on October 9, 2013.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Nominees and Winners for the 84th Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on October 9, 2013.
- ↑ The 85th Academy Awards (2013) Nominees and Winners. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on October 9, 2013.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 BAFTA Awards Search (John Williams). British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved on October 9, 2013.