Composer of the Week: John Williams
John Williams is an American movie and television composer. He was born February 8th, 1932 in Long Island, New York. At age 16, his family moved to California, where he eventually went to college. Afterwards, he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he often arranged and conducted for the U.S. Air Force Band. After serving in the Air Force, he attended the famous Juilliard School of Music in New York. There, he studied piano and was mentored by another famous composer, Henry Mancini. He started working with movie and TV music in the late 1950’s.
In the early 1970’s, Williams started to become better known for his work on movies such as The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno. In 1974, he started working with the director Steven Spielberg. He became very well-known after the two worked on the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg introduced John Williams to George Lucas, who was looking for a composer for his new project, Star Wars.
While Close Encounters made Williams famous, Star Wars made him a superstar. After winning the Academy Award and Grammy Award for the movie Jaws, he went on to compose the music for all remaining Star Wars movies, and many other film series such as Superman, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter. He also composed the music for Jurassic Park, E.T., Home Alone, NBC Nightly News, NBC Sunday Night Football, The Patriot, Lincoln, Nixon, JFK, Hook, and four Olympic Games themes (1984, 1988, 1996, and 2002). He has also written many other standalone pieces, such as Liberty Fanfare, which honors the Statue of Liberty.
Williams has won dozens of awards, and is still composing today. Recently, he composed the music for Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX (which is expected to be his last score of the series). He is also expected to compose the music for Indiana Jones 5 (working title), which is expected in 2020 or 2021.
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