You probably already know by now who John Williams is. The famous composer has written more scores than you shake a musical stick at (or a conductor’s baton if you prefer). Most notable scores include Saving Private Ryan, Superman and my personal favourite, Jurassic Park. How did John Williams achieve such great recognition in the movie industry?
Born on February 8th 1932 in New York, to an already musical family, John Williams was destined for a life of music. Attending the University of California in 1952, John studied with Italian composer, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. His musical career had begun.
After his time at university John Williams worked as a jazz pianist, playing in many clubs in and around New York. He then worked on television production for shows such as Peter Gunn and Days of Wine and Roses. His first credited film score didn’t come until the 1960 film, Because They’re Young, moving away from his television work.
For many years, John was nominated for musical awards in film, but never took home an award. In many ways, it was director Steven Spielberg who introduced John Williams into the limelight. A then new director on the movie scene, Steven asked for John Williams to compose the score for his first film, The Sugarland Express. The film gained critical acclaim, and showcased the power the duo have in the movie industry.
Since then, John Williams has scored all but two of Spielberg’s movies, The Twilight Zone and The Color Purple being the only exceptions. In 1977, John Williams was approached by another up and coming director, George Lucas.
The director pitched the idea of a science fiction space opera titled, Star Wars. John happily accepted and his since provided the score for all subsequent sequels and prequels. The most distinguished score, “Force Theme” can be heard via the YouTube video below.
Surely, it must be a given that John Williams will be composing the score for the newly announced Star Wars trilogy?
John Williams has since composed the soundtrack for another series of George Lucas directed films, starring an archaeologist called Dr Henry Jones. Other notable film scores include the X-Men series, The Adventures of Tintin and the Harry Potter films.
During his career, John Williams has won 40 awards for his musical achievement in film and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end there. John has already started work on his composition for the upcoming Jurassic World and it looks more than likely that he’ll be composing the score for the new Star Wars films. May the score be with you John.